Modern day life leaves very little time with people to relax their bodies and mind. Yoga as a system is not only about standing on your head and bending your spine, it is the most efficient way of recharging the body, mind and the soul. You don’t have to be anything to do yoga (except be willing and open-minded). Here I list a few points which are basic but important tenets of any yoga practice:
- BELIEF IN YOUR ABILITIES: Yoga is as much a mental exercise as it is a physical play. The first thing that you need to do before you start your practice is to remove all your mental blocks about various asanas. The mind plays a very important role here as it is programmed to scare us and tell us that things are difficult and we shouldn’t be taking risks. But trust me; standing on your head is as much possible for you as it is in Instagram or Facebook pictures of yogis. You must overcome the fears of the mind and be willing to fall down if at all. That’s the most important challenge any beginner faces and once you overcome your mental challenges, the physical postures become easier.
- PROPER BREATHING: Breathing is one of the most important aspects to be remembered while doing any yoga asana. Deep inhalation and exhalation always help you remain in any asana for a longer period of time, which ultimately is the objective of doing yoga asanas. Proper breathing ensures that a sufficient amount of oxygen is sent to each and every part of the body rejuvenating every single cell in the body. It aids the body in connecting to its battery, the solar plexus which is the storehouse of tremendous potential energy. If the breath is shallow, the body gets tired easily and hence cannot hold or focus on the asana. Therefore, it is very important to focus on the breath and synchronise it with various movements in the asanas.
- MINDFULNESS / AWARENESS: Mindfulness means focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while acknowledging one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. While doing asanas , one needs to be mindful of the movements as well as the stability achieved in the asanas. Proper awareness of the whole body and how it behaves during the asanas is very important to be able to have full control over the posture. Any particular yoga asana does not work only on one part of the body or a set of muscles, but provides a holistic workout to many parts and muscles. Therefore, if done with full awareness, even the simplest of asanas can have far reaching benefits for the entire system. Also, one should be absolutely conscious of his/her movements in order to avoid injury or pain.
- CORRECT POSTURE: While performing any asana, it is crucial that the posture is absolutely correctly in order to reap the full benefits of the asana. Also, a correct posture gives the strength and the stability to hold it for an extended period of time. Initially it might sometimes be difficult to find the right posture and alignment, but with time and practice, the body naturally finds the correct method to do it and stay in it. If the posture is correct, the right muscles in the body are stretched and this helps in providing greater flexibility to the body.
- CONSTANT PRACTICE: This may sound clichéd, but perhaps the best way to master any asana is to keep practicing it over and over again. The aim of yoga is not to be super efficient in fifty different asanas but to master only a few of them which have the potential to provide a complete rejuvenation of the entire system. Yoga is forever a ‘work in progress’ and there is almost every time that you discover something new while being in a pose. A lot of yoga aspirants these days are too busy focussing on asanas which look glamorous and stylish. However, they tend to forget that yoga is not about showing off your skills to the outer world. It is about how much and to what extent can you improve and connect with your inner self. Therefore, a regular practice of a few asanas in all that one needs to keep the physical and mental body in shape.
- RELAXATION: This is perhaps the most important but most ignored aspect of any yoga practice. When the muscles and joints of the body are constantly overworked while performing asanas, their natural efficiency diminishes. Relaxing in between the yoga asanas and more importantly at the end ensures that all the energy that is generated while performing the asanas is evenly circulated through the entire system. A proper relaxation with full awareness on the breath and mentally focussing on sending the prana (energy) to each and every part of the body ensures that the body and muscles do not feel tired at the end of a yoga session. It not only recharges the tired muscles and joints, but also slows down the breath and as a result, calms the mind.
- LISTENING TO YOUR BODY: Being flexible is certainly an important outcome of any yoga practice, but not at the cost of hurting your body. An important rule is not to stretch too far beyond the capabilities of your body. Everyone’s body strength and flexibility levels are different. Therefore, it is vital that you must honour and listen to your body and never force it to do something it is not ready to do yet. With time and practice, you will surely be able to expand your limits.
Find Your Vastu Solution