Yoga is approached in a completely different state of mind to that of exercise. I have therefore listed these guidelines that may help in your approach to your practice in my classes:
Never feel guilty or punish yourself for missing a class or not sticking to your new lifestyle. The principle of Yoga is to work in harmony with your body and not fight against it.
Be a friend to your Body and Mind, let your body lead the way in your practice. Never strain or push yourself. Always work within your range of movement. Know your limitations and ask my advice if you have health problems.
Keep your mind sensitive to what your body is telling it. Only you know your body and what it is capable of. This is why you need to be responsible for your own safety, as I do not know you like you do!
Get to know the difference between discomfort and pain. You may feel stiffness in the form of discomfort (good pain) but when there is bad pain there is dukkha (suffering).
When practicing Yoga there is only NOW. Do not look to the future or past, remain focused on the present. Appreciate where you are today in your practice and in your mind. You will progress and will never be at this stage again!
Instead of focusing on ‘perfecting’ a posture as a measure of your success in Yoga, enjoy discovering your Body, Mind & Spirit! NEVER be impatient– practice peacefully.
So you can fully absorb the lessons of your practice, always keep the mind receptive and open to learning. Just because you have practiced a posture 100 times doesn’t mean you know everything about it. Treat every posture as if it were the first time you have done it!
Unless instructed to, always breathe through your nose (in and out) during practice.
Take things easy during menstruation. It is our body’s time for restful Yoga. If you don’t feel up to practicing the postures, lie in relaxation and visualize yourself doing them. Always avoid postures that involve inversions, and take extra care with back bends and twists.
Don’t practice Yoga if you are at all unwell, especially with a fever. If you are unwell, you may still feel benefit in coming to class (unless you have a fever) as you will share in the energies, practice Pranayama (breathing), meditate, relax and exercise your mind.
Try your best to apply Yoga to our everyday life. I am here to help you do this. The more you put in to Yoga wholeheartedly – the more you will benefit from it. You will also notice how everything is linked together the more you learn and experience.
Try to understand and adopt the Yoga Philosophy (I have handouts on this) as this helps you to understand and link in with the Yoga Life.
Yoga is a journey for your Body, Mind & Spirit – ENJOY THE RIDE & remember to take in the scenery as you go!
by Danielle Bryant BSYA