Of course I learned more than eight things during 200 hours of study during Yoga Teacher Training at Yoga Pod The Woodlands! But I’m just sharing a handful here on the blog, did you catch the first four lessons posted earlier this week?
Treat Your Yoga Practice Like You Would a Puppy
Attention, attention, attention. Would you leave a puppy unattended for a long time? Would you barely engage with a puppy? You wouldn’t dare just go through the motions with a new puppy, I know it! Same goes for your practice. It’s just like many other things in our lives: a spiritual relationship, workout routine, even doing the dishes! Creating a habit requires work and attention throughout the week.
Now I’m not saying do yoga all day every day for your entire life but if you’re truly interested in forming a healthy yoga habit it can’t be a part of your life just twice a month. A safe way to start practicing yoga is to attend a variety of classes over a few weeks or start working with someone one on one to build your yoga muscle and flexibility memory. It will get easier with practice!
It’s Called Yoga PRACTICE For a Reason
Well, what do ya know the word practice is upon us again! Yes, that’s how important it is! This is one of my favorite aspects about yoga, every class it referred to as a practice. I typically apply the term practice to sporting events, you practice before you compete, right? Yet there is no room for competition in yoga.
However, when I first started practicing I competed with Mr. Giddy on the next mat and the super flexible chick in the corner and even the teacher! I wanted to be the best. As if there were a blue ribbon for the most awesome yogi in the room (there’s not, sad face). But I soon learned that winning was sooooooo not the point. One of the yamas (the first limb of yoga) is aparighara, or noncovetness.
Yoga is a personal journey, you can only control what happens on your mat. Pressing pause on what is outside of that space is beneficial for me during class and is also the fifth limb of yoga, pratayahara, to withdraw/sensory transcendence. This is always a challenge by the way! Being present is a part of my personal yoga practice.
There is Yoga For Every Individual
I’ve heard ‘Oh you’d never want to see me do yoga I’m so inflexible!’, or ‘I have too many injuries’ or ‘I’m not strong enough to do those crazy poses!’ but that is not a reason to resist practicing. Yoga is for every single body. I believe you just need to try and find a class that’s best to you. From heart pumping flow to blissed out and barely moving (hello restorative!) there is a class that will work for you.
I really mean it, anyone can do yoga. Tall, skinny, fit, fat, anxious, laid back, depressed, well adjusted. No matter who you are you can find a yoga class that benefits you mentally, physically or BOTH. Plus the second limb of yoga, the niyamas include samtosa, or, contentment. Yoga makes you giddy!
I’m not just saying this as a personal trainer, yoga teacher and overall fit freak. I’m saying it as a human who has seen yoga transform friends, strangers and especially fellow teacher trainees into more well rounded individuals. Its easy to generalize a yoga practice and put it in a box for vegan hippies to only enjoy. But it can be for you. Or your mom or best friend.
Getting There is Everything
Maybe you race there. Forgot your water bottle. Perhaps you’re even two minutes late. Just go in. Your yoga is waiting. Your mat is a safe place where you can breath, move and express yourself. Sounds nice, right? It’s a real place! And your mat is mobile so you can feel the warmth of yoga from any place. A studio. A park. Your living room. Give it a try. The yoga. Your yoga!
A continued practice will deepen your relationships with others and your body. It’s much more than a physical, you can learn many things on your mat no matter where you are. Delve into the mind/body connection and you will start to notice the benefit of a studied yoga practice. When opening yourself to connection and you may just find the eighth limb of yoga, samadhi, or state of ecstasy/enlightenment. It means something different for everyone, but if you’ve ever seen a yoga class dismiss you can see the giddiness and relaxation on everyone’s face.
Even though I’m now a teacher I will also forever be a student. We can all learn from anyone at anytime and keeping a beginner’s mind is valuable when on the mat. Do you yoga for yourself first.Balance, steadiness (both physical and mental) abound!
Our training group along with some of our instructors, we’re yoga instructors now! Whoo!
If you would like to try out classes at Yoga Pod The Woodlands (at Kuykehdahl & Woodlands Parkway) please be my guest! I am a Yoga Pod Ambassador and have a bookoo (a lot!) of ‘Try a Free Week’ cards that I’m giddy to share with you. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get you hooked up.
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