I love the physical practice of yoga. It’s amazing to feel your body and breath move together in a beautiful dance called Vinyasa. I encourage everyone to try yoga at least once. Remember there are many different types of yoga so if at first you don’t like the practice, please try another class or another teacher.
The best way to approach the practice of yoga is as a true beginner. What is a true beginner, someone who has never done yoga before. They have no expectations of themselves or the practice. A beginners’ mind believes that anything is possible. More advanced practitioners are not quite sure but anything is possible in the practice of yoga -- if you are open to it.
- Start with standing well. Stand strong and be powerful.
- Stand tall, close your eyes and spread your toes. Feel the earth beneath you whether you are outside on the grass or on your yoga mat on the floor. Draw energy from the earth and let it strengthen your body. Find your strength in your foundations.
- Close your eyes and simply begin to breathe. It’s not complicated, it is just breathing. Use your regular normal breath, just deepen it. Start with deep inhales and deep exhales. Imagine letting go of all that stands in the way of true happiness by exhaling it away. Maybe imagine the breath having a colour or texture as it enters your body or as it leaves your body. Envision the breath illuminating your body with life and healing because that’s exactly what it’s doing.
- Refine the breath. Close your lips and breathe in and out only through your nose. Breathing out through your nostrils is the most energy efficient way to breathe. The lungs harness our primary source of energy, breath. Breath equals prana. Prana is our powerful life force that transcends all cultures, genders and colors. Prana is the force we all share. The breath is so powerful. The best way to harness the power of our breath is through our nostrils. Inhale and exhale through your nose when you practice yoga. Our nostrils are excellent at controlling the amount of air we release on the exhale, so lungs have more time to extract the oxygen. It creates a better balance of oxygen carbon dioxide exchange and maintains a more balanced pH level in the blood. Better oxygenated blood means more energy and a better functioning body. This is a great benefit that yoga breathing provides.
- Move. Movement is the key to living. If we stop moving we get tight, stiff and angry. Let’s start to move slowly and mindfully. Inhale arms up overhead and strengthen your legs by squeezing thighs and lifting your knee caps. With soft knees bend at the waist and touch the floor with your fingertips. In lift your head and your heart forward and the fold again. Inhale and make your legs strong. Reach both arms up to the sky. Slowly circle your arms back to prayer hands at heart center. Repeat 5 times. Feel Better?
- Observe. How do you feel? What is different about how you feel? How can this make your life better? Now incorporate these actions into your everyday life.
Yoga can be as simple as Stop, Breathe, Move, Feel and Observe. It doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. It can be simple and life enhancing. Asana and breath is a powerful tool for wellness.
Okay now you try and let me know what happens...