what is yoga?
Yoga means "to unite, yolk or join together." The path of the Yogi requires a willingness to step into the present moment, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. To enter into a state self-awareness, a conscious connection with the breath and a deep respect for the relationship between body, mind and Spirit is to practice Yoga.
Over time your understanding of different aspects of Yoga postures and teachings will change. As you grow, your practice grows with you.
Don't get hung up on how you look when you do Yoga. Focus on how it feels and the benefits your body-mind is receiving and take things one breath at a time. Honor where you are now, this is how you ready the soil for your spiritual gifts to blossom. Yoga can be a powerful tool to help you increase your vitality, strength and overall health.
Yoga is much more than physical exercise: it is a transformational practice that integrates body, mind and spirit. Yoga is a way of encountering and releasing physical, mental, and emotional tensions to arrive at deeper levels of relaxation and awareness.
Yoga practice tips
New to Yoga? Hooray! Good for you! A dedicated Yoga practice can change your life, but it can be overwhelming when you first start out, so here are some basic tips to help you prepare for your first class or home practice.
Here are some general tips that will help you practice safely and successfully:
"Anyone who practices can obtain success in Yoga but not one who is lazy. Constant practice alone is the secret of success."
–Hatha Yoga Pradipika
- drink plenty of water
- don't eat at least 30 minutes before you practice
- set an intention for your practice
- do 1-5 minutes of deep breathing meditation before you practice any postures
- warm up first (e.g. 5 minutes of cardio or Sun Salutions)
- breathe smoothly and continuously as you move and stretch
- don't perform postures or movements that are painful
- don't hold your breath or strain to attain any postures
- work gently, respecting your body's abilities and limitations
- rest in Corpse Pose (final relaxation) for at least 3 - 10 minutes
- drink plenty of water to flush toxins
- choose nourishing food like vegetables, fruits or whole grains
- practice seated meditation while the mind is still and the body is relaxed
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Chakra Clearing Exercise
If you are thinking, "What the Hell is a Chakra?" then you need to click on that link and read up!
This simple exercise is safe for beginners and valuable to practitioners of at any level. After a Kundalini Yoga immersion retreat at the Sat Tirath Ashram in Kansas City, MO I began practice Kundalini Yoga on a weekly basis. This is one of the kriyas (group of exercises) I use at least twice a week as a warm up or by itself.
Other Helpful Articles
In an effort to better serve my students, both near and far, I do my best to share blog posts and videos that I think will help you grow your home practice safely and powerfully.
Feel free to share your ideas for more blogs and videos, I would LOVE to hear from you!
If you are interested in hosting a workshop, have questions about your Yoga practice, or have suggestions for blogs and videos feel free to reach out to me anytime!