Benefits of Yoga Sleep Better Lose Weight Overcome Fears Help Conquer Habits Develop Better Concentration Help Performance in Daily Tasks Improved Self Awareness
Benefits of Yoga continued Deeper Sense of Well-Being Develop Compassion Enhances Relationships Greater Self-Acceptance Sensation of Being at Peace More Energy
What is Yoga? Originates from Sanskrit “yuj.” May be translated as “to center one’s thoughts,” “to concentrate oneself” or “to meditate deeply.” “Yuj” also comes “unite,” “join,” and “connect” which implies bringing back into balance. Paradoxically, Yoga also seeks to “disunite.”-separation of physical body with the spiritual or mental body. Not necessarily religious; It is a metaphor for life: finding the center in a pose encourages you to find your center during the rest of your life and follow the right path for you.
Asanas A yoga asana is a posture where you are externally still yet internally alive. Do not worry about gracefulness of pose. Rather focus on the teaching point and the breathing within the pose. Asanas must have the qualities of alertness and relaxation. An asana is a frequently repeated effort made in order to reach an effortless state. Stretching your body stretches your mind. They help balance the body, as well as, mobilize and vitalize the joints.
Breathing Your breath will bring your yoga alive. In general, inhale on opening or unfolding the body, when performing rising up or lengthening movements, when twisting the upper back and when bending backward. Exhale when releasing, closing the body, moving downward, twisting the lower back, lowering the arms or legs, and when bending forward or sideways. It’s irrelevant if you can touch your toes or not, or do a pose perfectly. If you can breathe, you can practice yoga.
Staying Present When you stay mentally present in a pose, awareness deepens. There are two types of asanas: conscious and unconscious. Your body is your playground, your classroom, your tool for learning. If you spend one minute in a posture, observe, sense, visualize and refine. When in blocks of time in poses, this time of healing offers us a new way of being, freeing us momentarily from other concerns. In time, these small chunks of present moment focus can even extend from your practice session into your life.
Doing and Undoing Engaging a muscle will bring the mind right to that area. All over awareness is excellent practice for concentration and being in the now. An asana needs to be steady and comfortable. Strain blocks your ability to listen to what your body has to tell you. It is essential to extend your limits, however, overworking your body is neglecting to take care, a form of misuse. Frowning, clenching your jaw, and holding your breath are signs to back off. If you notice yourself feeling competitive, smile and let it go.
Anchoring and Radiating Let the earth take your weight. If you are: -standing, enjoy the relief in surrendering your weight down through the soles of the feet. -sitting, sink down through the sitting bones. -balancing on your hands, soften the skin on the palms and release downward. Our center of gravity lies 2 inches below the navel. Learn to move from the center.
Your Edge It’s the point at which the strong challenge comes into the pose and where you feel you have reached a new frontier. Take time to listen to your body. Not just while practicing yoga. As you approach your first edge, hold the position with a steady breath. Stay focused on that place in your body. The exhalation will help soften and prepare the body to move beyond it. Wait for your body to let you in.
Your Intention Consider what you want to achieve Increase your flexibility and strength, heal an ailment, find better body awareness, cope with stress, find inner peace, develop compassion or explore your spirituality. Your meditation is your own. Consider your higher goals, or ideals that inspire you and that you would like to embody. Your practice is a reflection of your life.