There are four parts to a yoga pose. Getting into, aligning, holding and coming out of the pose.
I use to think I was “all that, and a bag of chips,” when I thought I mastered the pose. Until one day, the instructor tried to adjust my alignment, and I lost my balance.
I was comfortable with holding the posture as is. Introducing proper alignment felt like starting all over again.
How many times have you felt like you mastered something, only to find out you have returned to the baby Bhudda stage of enlightenment?
Alignment gave me new insight. I gained energy because my muscles were being used more efficiently, and I prevented possible injury.
What doesn’t challenge you, won’t change you.
Let’s Talk Benefits!
I would like to share some from my own personal experience. ( It’s worth reading to the end:))
1)Help you relax
2)Help you focus
3)Assist in creating a healthier lifestyle because of increased awareness-The better you feel the more you will want to support your overall health, and well-being.
4)It builds better bones. It is
documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones. I was diagnosed with Osteopenia, and with the help of a continued yoga practice, It has helped to strengthen my bones.
5)It helps to drain lymph and boost immunity because you are contracting and stretching muscle.
6)It prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
Joint cartilage is like a sponge;
And certain postures hone in on specific areas of the body squeezing out old fluid so new fluid can be absorbed, feeding the joints with fresh nutrients.
7)Yoga helps to decrease the symptoms of IBS and other digestive issues.
Ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation— can all be exacerbated by stress. So if you stress less, you’ll suffer less.
Now, if I haven’t convinced you yet with all the benefits I have listed above that practicing yoga is worth your time, this one just might “seal the deal.”
8)Would you believe that yoga improves your sex life? You will become a lot more “bendy.”
Stepping outside of a routine brings a deeper awareness.
Today, I practiced yoga with the intent to focus on what I was feeling. I tried keeping my eyes closed so I could stay focused. Although, the instructor demonstrated several poses I have never done before, so I kept my eyes open long enough to get the instruction, and then turned closed them.
How ironic, he asked if we were feeling frustrated or mad. I guess, I was not the only one who was experiencing some frustration. I struggled just trying to get into the pose let alone hold it.
He questioned, “if you are feeling irritated, is this a familiar pattern that arises when you don’t get what you want?“
Our emotions contain valuable information if we are patient enough to embrace them.
I smell something! I have to pee. Did you here that?
How many times are we focused on something, and our concentration becomes seriously interrupted?
Many times, it’s our senses that have been triggered. It is what we hear, see, and feel etc. that deters our focus.
The power of the Ujjayi breath https://wordpress.com/post/trinaschartz.wordpress.com/3904 helps to draw the senses inward, reclaiming your concentration.
The sound, and the coolness of your breath as it enters through your nostrils, and the warmth of your breath as it exits, assists in redirecting your attention back to the moment.
When you bring attention to anything, your awareness and sensitivity heightens.
I am more alert to when I am holding my breath or when I have diverted my attention away from my practice. I notice when I am just hanging out in the pose or actively engaged.
I am not just showing up to class any more because I NEED some exercise. I WANT to be there because I am more alert and more actively involved. I enjoy being present to the process.
I cannot help but smile. A change is taking place and I am not sleeping through it.
I have to go to work. I have to clean up my plate. I have to make good choices.
For many years, I thought this was how I was supposed to show up in the world. I didn’t know it was a choice.
When I discovered it was a choice, it changed my perspective from an obligation to a blessing.
I get to choose to eat healthily. I get to choose to love what I do. I get to choose to make good choices.
When I choose how I will live my life, life feels like an adventure, not a prison.
Whether it’s in the form of oxygen or blood flow, or in the form of joint pain or muscle tension, resistance creates strain on the body.
Everyone learns somewhere along their path that resistance does more harm than good.
Over the years, I asked to have my picture taken in particular yoga poses to see where I could improve alignment.
At one time, while a friend of mine was taking my photo, she noticed I was struggling to get into the posture and asked, why are you resisting?
I questioned, what makes you think I am resisting? She said, you are holding your breath. You should see the veins in your neck. I was not even aware I was tensing up, or holding my breath.
From that point on, I made it a point to monitor my breath, and observe how my body feels when moving in, holding, and moving out of a posture. Standing in front of a mirror makes it easy to detect when I have locked the door to air flow. My friends, the jugulars, just bulge right in.
Support is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it shows your strength.
If your body is not capabable of doing a pose without modification or support, don’t push yourself into the posture. You can create unnecessary strain or injury.
In my 20’s, while giving birth, I sustained injury to my lower back. Due to this injury there are some poses where I need modification, and or support. Malasana is one of those poses for me.
While in this posture, and without support, I have to lean forward I experience discomfort in my hips, and a strain on my ankles because I have to spread my feet out so far to hold myself up.
The support of a block will gradually ease the tightness in my hips, and provide me the release, and flexibility I need to sit up straighter, and eventually sit in Malasana without discomfort.
Don’t strain, it’s not worth the pain.
Today marks the half-way point.
If you too have set a new resolution for yourself, this is a reminder to give yourself kudos for sticking to your commitment thus far.
Its important to show yourself some lovin,’ or gratitude in the form of verbal affirmations, like, “Hey, I am proud of myself, I haven’t given up.”
I would not be where I am today without the decisions I have made to keep going, and neither would you. What we have accomplished so far is no small feat. We have proven that we are more powerful than the tales we have told ourselves in the past.
If you ever feel like quitting, remember the 21,600 moments you have already dedicated to change, and tell yourself, “all I have to do is commit to another moment and then another. I have a proven track record of success.”
The prize I am referring to is the process you must undergo to reach your goal. We are often so focused on the destination that when the going gets tough we want to bail.
The process is a moment to moment rededication to your goal.
When you set a goal, you make a commitment to reach your goal. The word “commitment” can feel intimidating because we are afraid we might fail.
There are days I feel overwhelmed when I think of the 30-day commitment I set in motion. But if I know I can rededicate at anytime, it reminds me I have a choice. I am not a victim of circumstance.