In today’s fast pace world everyone is looking for a quick fix. Why not put in a bit of time to learn a practice that will over time give great benefit. Yoga claims to have many benefits and from each school of yoga there are many great things that come from a regular practice, such as mental and physical steadiness, strength, flexibility and it can detoxify the muscles and organs. The underlying message is that Yoga brings balance to your system, eliminating restlessness in the body so you can find a comfortable place within you!
Yoga is a moving meditation; pushing or forcing yourself into a pose will be of no benefit. Holding yourself in tension is not the meaning of yoga either but using the practice to learn skills to help you in all personal avenues off the mat will be of great benefit!
Use the breath to guide you: Inhale – gain space, Exhale – allows you to relax, or go deeper. Steady and even inhale and exhale through the nose. Listen to the sound and rhythm of the breath. Try to stay in tune with your breathing – vinyasa is the linking of movement and breath. Cultivate an inner awareness, know your limits, listen to your body, and work on your breath not your ego!
Over time, with a regular practice, your body will open up. Be patient; enjoy all stages of the practice. There should be no ego in yoga, this competitive attitude will cause injury and prevent the real benefit coming to you. Everyone has a different body type so trying to be like your neighbour is preventing you from seeing the beauty of your own body and posture.
A moving meditation allows you to check in with the physical body, the emotions, the mind and the spiritual body. Becoming aware of the breath on the mat allows you to take these skills off the mat. Regulating the breath will become easier and, at difficult or stressful times, it will bring a sense of calmness. The first time you find yourself using the skills from your yoga class in an everyday situation you will then understand the reasons and benefit of yoga.