We all have different patterns and relationships with our Yoga practice. Maybe we practice once or twice a week. Maybe we go through periods of practicing and going to class or self practice everyday and then go through a time of yoga drought for long periods of time. What if it gradually becomes harder to motivate yourself to get on the mat? All of these things are normal. The question is how can we ensure we build a loving, rational, steady and long lasting relationship with our Yoga practice? Below are a few attitudes we can be taking during our Yoga practice, that are sure to keep you in a great and loving relationship with your practice, your body and yourself.
Congratulate yourself for getting on to your mat, whether it be at home or in a class. Showing up to practice is the most important step you can take. Sometimes it's not easy. A million things on the 'to do list', feeling tired, feeling unmotivated, there can be so many physical and phycological hurdles to jump over until we finally arrive on our Yoga mat. Then from the moment you begin, give yourself a big and wholehearted 'well done', after all what could be more important than taking time for you to look after your body and soul.
Unconditinally listen, appreciate and love your body
Listen and appreciate your body as it is today. Maybe it feels tired, tight or sore. Maybe it feels great. Either way do not expect, demand, ignore or judge your body during your class. Yoga aims to firstly connect, become aware and accept. After this, a way to transform into the expression of the posture will surely arrive. Image if one day you can easily touch your toes, then the next day you can not. The most loving and Yogic way to go about this is to simply accept that today you are in a different place. Enjoy that new place and the different stretch. Don't ignore the facts and force yourself to go further which could leave you feeling like a failure which certainly is not achieving anything good. Love, accept and enjoy your body in each posture, no matter what. This is surely key to a loving, long lasting and fruitful relationship to your Yoga practice.
No competitions and no judgements, just be as you are
Never compare yourself to other people in your class, pictures or videos on social media or yourself as you where 10 years ago. A yoga class or practice should be a space where you feel you can focus on you. What others think and what others can and cannot do is completely irrelevant You are there to enjoy, breath and feel good for yourself. Yoga is not a competition and you should not allow yourself to feel judged by yourself. Rest assured that your teacher will not be judging you as they will know and understand the Yoga ethics. Be kind to yourself always. Checkout our article about Ahimsa.
'To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.' Thich Nhat Hanh
Smile, shine and be happy!
Yoga can seem oh so serious at times! You know it is absolutely ok and fantastic to smile and even have a giggle at yourself. Allow yourself to feel good in a pose, breath deeply and express the pose to your full potential, which includes your whole wonderful being. No need to shy away and shrink your body in the corner, you are here now and you are wonderful. Send yourself love, approval and positive vibes during your practice and you will feel how your body responds in amazing ways. If you notice any negative thoughts, congratulate yourself for noticing and replace with far more useful self approval and love!
'You are amazing, just the way you are' Bruno Mars ;)
Anahata is the fourth main energy centre in the body according to the chakra system. It is located in the centre of the chest and is all about love. When this energy centre is unbalanced we maybe closed emotionally, fearful or hold resentment towards others. When we connected to our heart chakra we can experience joy , happiness, compassion and unconditional love.
Imagine you are frightened of something and notice what happens to your body as you feel this emotion. You might start to close in on yourself, bring your shoulders forward into protection mode. Now imagine walking around like that all day! Its not fun. Now imagine a loved one coming towards you and opening your arms wide to embrace them, or lifting your chest up to the sky on a summers day to receive the healing energy of the sun. Opening up your chest invokes such a wonderful feeling within us and in our physical yoga practice backbends are the king(or Queen) for opening up the heart. Upward facing dog, cobra, camel and bow pose are just a few feel good poses that get the heart energy open and flowing!
Here are some other simple tips to help feel the L.O.V.E!!
The Sacral Chakra(Svadhisthana) is the second of the seven main chakras (energy centres) of the body. Located below the navel in the pelvic area. The sacral chakra is associated with creativity, sensuality and the ability to experience pleasure. The root chakra (the first chakra) gives us grounding and from that stability we can find freedom, movement and flow. When the Sacral chakra is out of wack it may manifest in having a sense of being ruled by your emotions or the opposite, feeling numb, uninspired and out of touch with yourself.
In a physical Yoga practice hip openers are great for unleashing trapped energy in and around the sacral chakra. Its very common in todays busy and demanding life to get tight hips from all that sitting and then rushing around from here to there. We are often just moving our hips in only one way, all day every day, forwards and back (our poor hips!). Our hips are the biggest, most powerful joint in the body. Hips openers can have a LOT of sensation. As we stretch and release our hips it can help us let go of stiff and rigid beliefs in our minds and allow our creativity to flow. This gives us more ability to feel alive, present and joyful.
Here are a few other tips to help balance the Sacral chakra, unlock your creative energy and find expression and joy!
Allow yourself to experience the joy of your wonderful and unique body. Feel, trust, move and unlock the wonderful creativity inside you!
There are seven main energy points (Chakras) in the body which run run vertically upwards along the spine. Muladhara is the first chakra, located at the base of the spine and is also known as the root chakra. This chakra harnesses our ability to feel safe, steady and grounded. It connects us to our physical bodies, environment and the Earth. Our root chakra can be out of balance when we don't have this sense of stability in our bodies or our lives we may feel as if we are slipping and sliding all over the place, we may feel unsafe or fearful.
A physical Yoga practice helps us reconnect deeply with ourselves. When everything in life seems to be in a constant state of of flux, simply stepping onto a yoga mat, moving the body and listening to breath can give us a great sense of being grounded. Feeling the soles of the feet and sending energy down into the earth is almost like the roots of tree reaching down to allow the tree to withstand the wind, rain and elements.
Having a sense of stability is an anchor that allows us to handle change be it positive and exciting or not so fun. Here are few other ways to help balance the root chakra:
So lovelies, trust and love your beautiful bodies and feel the earth supporting you in all you do!
Om Shanti xoxox