Things We Have Learned From Doing Yoga
Amber ScrivenYoga Teacher, Acupuncturist
Yoga teacher, acupuncturist, herbalist and writer View more
Theres a huge list of things we can learn from practicing yoga. Actually, there are several lists literally! They are called the Yoga Sutras, and they were handed down by Patanjali, printed, and published in book format all over the place.
But here are a few of the amazing lessons we know you can learn and benefit from without having to read the books! All you have to do is show up on your mat and be present. How do I know? Because I learnt them that way too!
You Don’t Have To Feel Self
If sticking your glutes high up in the air feels a little uncomfortable in a class filled with other students, you’re not alone. “Students often tell me that they’re afraid of the class environment as they don’t want to be ‘watched,'” says Calli De La Haye, a 500-hour RYT and the co-founder of Kalimukti Yoga. “I wish they knew that most of the practitioners are so in the ‘zone’ they hardly notice what people around them are doing.”
While you may feel self-conscious performing certain poses, if you’re paying attention to your breath and trying to perfect your alignment, you won’t have time to think about the people around you. And that should tell you somethingif you’re too engrossed to check out the rear ends of your fellow yogis, then they’re too engrossed to check out yours.
Hard Work Isnt Always About Making Money
There is so much work to be done in this life.
Instead of thinking about monetary gain as an end result, it is a great lesson to commit to things without taking shortcuts.
Instead of seeing money as a reward, we can look at life as a labor of love. All good things take time.
It takes time to build our homes, teach our children, grow gardens, self-study, and our relationships with others. These are all things that take time, devotion, and hard work.
ALL these things are all worth it.
If we only work hard for financial gain, then what are we really working for?
One of my life lessons learned from volunteering it that it allows us to get in touch with a more profound spirit. We have the opportunity to work hard for things we truly believe in.
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Consider adding the above yoga book to your library. It teaches 47 poses you can do at home!
I periodically comb the digital “shelves” of Amazon.com for new books that provide guidance to yogis who practice at home. Recently, I discovered Amy Luwis’ delightful little tome, Yoga to the Rescue-Ageless Beauty: How to Keep Yourself Glowingly Beautiful Inside and Out!
I am always into being “ageless” and in looking one’s best. This book offers so much more! The title belies the treasure trove of practical information within its covers to enhance your home yoga practice.
I recommend adding this book to your yoga library for the following reasons:
* Like my book , Amy Luwis writes in an easy-to-follow, and personal way. You FEEL her friendly presence as you read. I eschew yoga books that explain poses in a generic, lifeless, and institutional manner. Amy includes references to her own experiences in the book which makes her feel real to me.
* Amy begins her book with basic health tips which are excellent adjuncts to a vibrant home yoga practice – dry brushing of your skin, dietary recommendations and the importance of quality sleep..
* You will find a wide variety of poses from which to choose – a total of 47 that are organized into 6 different sequences. Each of the sequences has a different aim-such as practicing yoga to become ageless, achieving serenity, or overcoming pain.
Laura Venecia Rodriguez, the Yoga at Home Beginners Coach
Lesson : Repetition Can Be Good
There is comfort in familiarity. We always feel at home in the poses we do the most. It gives us a chance to just be. One of my favorite quotes is Practice makes permanent I cant remember where I heard it, but its true for yoga and for life. If you want to do something well, you must practice. You can learn a lot about yourself through repetition.
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Yoga At Home For Beginners: Yoga Headstand
During my last post, I shared the inspiring tale of Arthur, a disabled Gulf war paratrooper and veteran who returned home with limited mobility. He could not walk without elbow crutches and his physicians advised him that this was his fate for the rest of his life . His sedentary life caused him to become morbidly obese. Yet, he found one yoga instructor who was willing to take him on. Arthur’s video showed how he started as an absolute yoga beginner falling and tumbling over during several poses. Yet, consistent practice over time enabled Arthur to master difficult poses including the headstand!
The yoga headstand is one pose that I never tried for more than a split second. I tend to become discombobulated when I go upside down- I lose my balance. Despite swim lessons, as a child and teenager I could never do flip overs when reaching the end of a lap in a pool. Although I can lift myself into the shoulder stand, the head stand has intimidated me for years. However, Arthur’s video so inspired me that I decided to start teaching myself the yoga headstand.
Yours for trying new yoga poses with caution and patience,
Laura Venecia Rodriguez, the Beginners’ Yoga at Home Coach
What Exactly Is Transcendental Meditation
The transcendental meditation technique is founded on the belief that the repetition of a phrase called a mantra, it is possible to rid the mind of all distractions and achieve a state of relaxed awareness.
Transcendental meditation practitioners and instructors will guide students by repeating a mantra facilitates a deeper state of relaxation by ridding the mind of strenuous conscious thinking. Instead of exerting effort on making the mind work a meditator feels a wave of calmness, which is said to encourage creativity, revitalize the body, and fill the spirit with contentment.
The theoretical perspective that powers transcendental meditation is referred to as the Science of Creative Intelligence. It is drawn from Vedanta, one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy.
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Listen To Your Body And Intuition
I used to push, push, push myself until I had virtually nothing left to give. If my body asked for a rest, I would ignore it and listen only to my competitive mindset.
Yoga taught me to tune into my body’s gentle requests and really listen to these cues.
Similarly, if you just have one of those feelings something isn’t quite right in your life, it’s probably your intuition giving you a little nudge.
Lean into that gut feeling. Only you know what’s right for you.
Use Stuff Around The House As Accessories
If you dont have a yoga mat, dont worry about it. If youre short on cash, a beach towel can suffice until you can get a cheap mat. If you need extra traction on your cheap mat, throw a towel on top of it. My first yoga mat was my dads old threadbare Pilates mat, and I made that bad boy work for years.
You can make yoga props out of whatever you have handy. For instance, my first yoga block was a Star Wars VHS box set and my first yoga strap was my dogs leash. Couch cushions are a good stand-in for yoga bolsters if youve got em handy.
You dont need to buy special clothesjust find something that you can move in comfortably. And if youre at home, dont be afraid to practice naked.
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Its Time For A Serious Discussion About At Home Learning Of Yoga Via Video For Brand New Beginners
This is something that has been brewing in my mind for a long time and I need to get it out. I also want to hear your opinions on this as I am always open to having my point of view changed and my mind expanded through the insight of others.
I see what I believe is a serious problem in the yoga community, and that is the notion that learning yoga alone, at home, as a beginner via any series of videos or website instruction is a suitable alternative to taking a class under the tutelage of a trained instructor.
I am not a trained instructor, and I am not a yoga expert. I am however an athlete who has been active in various sports since I could walk. I have had the benefit of learning from very good and very poor teachers/coaches in various athletic disciplines, and so I feel that I can speak from a position of experience on the process of learning a physical discipline, even if I am not an expert in yoga.
As an introvert , I totally understand why some people gravitate to learning yoga in the privacy of their own home. I can even expand a list of reasons why I feel many people are drawn to learning via video:
Cost. Its cheaper than taking classes or privates.
Social anxiety. It is hard for some people to walk into a studio when they don’t know anyone and be “that new girl/guy” and have to forge a whole new set of social connections from nothing. Believe me, this one I really do understand.
Seven Tips For Practicing Yoga By Yourself
So youre ready for some yoga but your studio is closed? Dont despair. Take matters into your own hands by becoming your own yoga teacher. Dont sweat it if you forget your training or your chants! Many times, practicing solo allows you to focus entirely on the intrinsic. Here are seven tips for getting started by yourself.
Set Your GoalWhen you plan your own yoga class, you get to decide on every factor, like the type of yoga youre going to practice and the pace and energy of the class. Take a moment to assess your current state: do you crave a fiery power practice, or are you feeling worn-down in a way that only a restorative class can soothe?
Of course, you can create a dynamic class for yourself, mixing and matching from different classes youve taken in the past to create a tailor-made sequence that hits all the right spots.
Focus on the Tried and TrueYoull generally want to choose poses that are familiar to you. Youll be familiar with proper alignment for those poses, as well as safe ways to enter and exit the pose. Trying a new pose for the first time solo can set you up for injury: youre better off relying on a teachers cues the first few times and then practicing at home once comfortable.
But Challenge YourselfWhen you set the sequence, it can be tempting to gloss over poses or areas that arent your favorite. Resist the desire to skip the poses that you find challenging: the discomfort from these poses can provide a great opportunity for growth.
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Virtual Yoga Classes Are More Sophisticated Than Ever
Besides the many yoga DVDs and books on the market, online yoga classes and digital downloads are bringing home more of the benefits of a live class. While an instructor isn’t physically there to observe your alignment and adjust your pose hands-on, multimedia is the next best thing…and for some, it may be even better.
Practice In A Quiet Area
The environment plays a huge role in your yoga session. Make sure you have a quiet area in your home where you can fully commit to your workout. Most beginner videos dont require you to have much in terms of equipment, but if you have a yoga mat grab that, some water, a towel, or whatever else you may need before you begin. For an added bonus, consider lighting candles or using aromatherapy to help you relax and fully get into your space and your movements.
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How To Do Yoga At Home
This article was co-authored by Ken Breniman, LCSW, C-IAYT. Ken Breniman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Yoga Therapist and Thanatologist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ken has over 15 years experience of providing clinical support and community workshops utilizing a dynamic combination of traditional psychotherapy and yoga therapy. He specializes in eclectic non-denominational yoga guidance, grief therapy, complex trauma recovery and mindful mortal skills development. He has a MSW from Washington University in St. Louis and an MA Certification in Thanatology from Marian University of Fond du Lac. He became certified with the International Association of Yoga Therapists after completing his 500 training hours at Yoga Tree in San Francisco and Ananda Seva Mission in Santa Rosa, CA.There are 24 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 88% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 580,339 times.
Should You Begin Transcendental Meditation
The official website of transcendental meditation presents four major reasons to try the method.
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Yoga Is About More Than Stretching
When you go to a typical yoga class, you go through a series of asanas that can look and feel a lot like stretching. But the physical element of yoga is just a piece of the bigger picture.
“Yoga is about the breath,” says Rose. “The true goal of yoga is to move your body, connect with your breath, and be in the present moment. The actual only ‘goal’ is to release excess energy so that you can sit and meditate, classically speaking.”
These are some of the reasons why yoga is considered a practice rather than a workout. Being a practitioner isn’t just about what happens for 60 minutes on your yoga mat. It’s about what you take from that 60-minute session to carry with you throughout the rest of your day.
How To Improve Your Yoga Practice
Looking to deepen your yoga practice? You need to go deeper into technique .
Most yoga doesnt go too far into this aspect of yoga because its not what most people want. At a yoga studio, there is an expectation that you can show up, go through the motions, and leave with a sense of satisfaction that you did something good for yourself, while also relieving stress. Too much instruction is a turn off for many, so most yoga instructors, out of fear of alienating this group of attendees, tend to keep instruction to a minimum.
If youre looking to deepen your practice and learn more about technique, you should find a yoga instructor who helps you focus on: subtle alignment cues to help you get more out of each pose, the proper muscles to activate in each pose, and what you should and should not be feeling. There are also certain methods of constructing yoga sequences that lead to more significant results, such as more strength, increased muscle, and greater flexibility.
In the blog here, I cover:
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How Do Mantras Work
A few essential factors are surrounding the use of mantras. First, mantras have various vibrational characteristics. Thats why each TM student uses its own unique mantra. Love and Jealousy, both words are exceptionally strong feelings, and both of them create a specific vibrational sound.
You can actually try and repeat these two words to yourself a few times, and feel the difference that they create. Thats why its essential that you use a specific mantra and produce the energy you desire.
Next important factor is the focus. Our minds are frequently cluttered with random stuff. By having a word that we can focus on our attention we can free ourselves from this internal scuffle.
At the bottom of the page is a list of internal mantras to select.
Fear Is A Waste Of Time
When I started practicing yoga, I was scared of everything — from falling in a tree pose and embarrassing myself in front of my peers, to getting upside down and attempting a headstand, and everything in between. This fear translated to all areas of my life.
I had trepidation about relationships, work, and even when it came to just unapologetically being myself.
But once I let go of my anxiety about the uncertainty of the unknown, it genuinely felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
Now, when I feel fear creeping up I use this quote by Hafiz to ground me:
Fear is the cheapest room in the house.I’d like to see you in better living conditions.
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