25 February 2017

Change of daily practice

I'm a creature of habit with yoga

I am the sort of person who am quite happy to get up and do the same thing each morning. Because then there are no decisions to be made: everything is already worked out. But every now and then, a change is in order. And this can be for many reasons: 

  • you have more, or less, time
  • have been unwell
  • want to get fit
  • have hurt a joint or similar
  • ......many reasons

Be practical

I like to be practical, even though I know that I am by nature, mystical. So, I almost always meditate, even if it's just a short one. Although I love, love, love, delving into the deeper mysteries, I do know that the daily meditation is what really counts. 

Having said that, it's okay not to meditate, as well. Some people do not like it and that's fine. I am now pretty much over the "we all need to meditate" mentality, now.

And some people like to get up and do some yoga....but they are not suited to the slow breathing type of yoga. Although I promote the slow breathing during yoga practice, by nature, I often get agitated doing it this way first thing in the morning. So in these instances, I don't. I just breathe slightly deeper than normal.

I had a brief period of getting up, coffee, meditation, and a walk. I enjoyed it, but also I realised that I like to do some poses too. 

Make your practice, doable

And it is here that most people get into difficulties. Simply because, many people try to do too many poses each morning, or don't know what to do. 

Doing a few rounds of some sort of surya namaskara, sun salutes, is fine. 

  • You can do any variation, and can go fast, slow, or medium. 
  • If you like to do a lot, then lying down on your back & relaxing until the breath returns to normal, is recommended. 
  • But if you just do a few, a bit slower paced, finishing by holding a standing forward bend for a wee while, is excellent.

                                          Image result for yoga standing forward bend pose with bent knees

It's ok to go easy

If sun salutes are not for you, try some easier poses. I currently am doing:

  • child pose
  • then about five cats
  • three to five cobras
  • and a mountain/down dog, to start. It's nice. 
  • you could add a kneeling lunge & a simple twist. Voila! A nice little routine. I love poses done from a kneeling or all fours position, they have a beautiful effect on our brain and mind.

                                  Image result for cat pose                                              

                                   cat/inhaling; cat exhaling

                                 Image result for yoga cobra pose 

                                       Above: cobra; 
                    below: mountain/downdog; kneeling lunge

                                            Image result for yoga downdog pose

                                         Image result for yoga kneeling lunge


Regularity is the key

A short daily session is fine. It is the regularity that counts in yoga. So, 5, 10, 15 minutes will suffice for a daily morning practice.

Flexibilities are great, too

I almost always do: 

  • a standing dynamic twist
  • and hip circles, because I have a dodgy back, and they keep it moving well
And that is another way to do some yoga: just do some loosening up moves, three to five times each. Even doing only five minutes is something. So often the simple flexibility moves of old-fashioned yoga, are overlooked. And yet, they keep us supple. I always start my classes with some of these types of moves.

Good looseners are: 

  • shoulder joint circles
  • a twist
  • something easy to loosen the hips, you can do hip joint rotations standing. 
  • our hip and shoulder joints are the two of the main areas that need loosening.
  • backwards, forwards, side to side.  

How easy it is to do these! Do:

  • three to five times each
  • and you can even do them dynamically, then hold for three to five breaths on the last time

Teaching tip:

If you are a beginning yoga teacher, a good suggestion is to put together small groups of poses and practice them for a week, to see how they flow on from each other, and help you to be able to automatically know what posture to teach next in a class.

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