Yoga - It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it! By Sue FullerYoga Class

To gain the maximum benefits from your yoga practice, it is not about what you do or how often you do it - the real key is in the way that you do it.

Yoga will provide so many benefits and make a positive impact on your life, providing it is practiced with the correct focus and intent.

If the body is just moved without focus through a series of postures then your yoga practice is no different to an exercise class.  However if you move mindfully, whilst maintaining the connection between breath and movement and are able to observe and witness all sensations and experiences that each posture or technique presents, then you are experiencing and engaging in a yoga practice. 

However, everyone has to start there yoga journey somewhere and it is in no way negative to move through a series of yoga postures, because as you become more familiar with your practise you will gradually become more aware of maintaining a smooth steady flow of breath and any sensations experienced.

It takes time to develop a mindful practice, yoga slowly and naturally filters into every aspect of your life.  Allow this to evolve and pay attention to different changes that occur as you continue to practise and move deeper into your yoga practice.

The word yoga comes from the ancient Sanskrit word Yuj meaning to yoke.  Today we simply translate this to mean unite, union, connect or fuse.  A simple translation, however, when we move deeper into our yoga practice it soon becomes apparent that this sense of union is not as straight forward as it first appeared to be.  Yoga takes you beyond the connection between body and mind or movement and breath. 

By practicing yoga mindfully it is possible to develop a strong relationship with yourself, it is through this relationship that we are able to listen to our body and meet our current needs and requirements.  We are also able to identify when we are feeling out of sorts or unbalanced. 

Here are a few points to remember

Yoga is non- competitive, do not compete with others or yourself.

Wear loose comfortable clothing and remove any distracting pieces of jewellery.

Yoga is a natural path, avoid setting yourself goals or targets, you will progress when and if the time is right.

Yoga is so much more than just a physical practice.

Yoga has been practiced for over three thousand years for a good reason.

Yoga will filter into your life and will help you through times of change and challenge, to utilise this to the best of your ability you must remain focussed through your sessions. 

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your yoga practice.

Prior to your practice always take a moment to sit in a simple meditation posture with the ankles crossed or lay in Savasana (the corpse).  Slowly scan through your body and become aware of all sensations experienced.   This allows you to connect with your body, calm your mind and will bring awareness to any aches, pains and areas of stiffness.  

Make sure that throughout your yoga practice the mind is engaged in the activity that the body is performing.  This will ensure that your alignment is good and prevent any injuries, it also helps to connect body and mind (as all too often we can be doing one thing with our body and our mind is occupied with thoughts of an entirely different nature).

Never force the body into postures or stretches.  Listen to your body if you feel pain or discomfort relax a posture.   Become aware of any resistance and your personal limitations during each practice. 

Improvers Daily Yoga by Sue FullerSue Fuller is a leading yoga teacher with a range of over 60 audio yoga classes, all postures are carefully selected for the relevant and appropriate level including Gentle Yoga for the absolute beginner, Beginners Yoga, Improvers for those moving on from the beginner level and Strong Yoga classes for the more advanced yoga practitioners who wish to perform stronger yoga postures. 

Sue also has a range of Daily Yoga Classes each audio contains 5 X 15 minute yoga sessions that can fit into even the busiest of days.

Sue’s complete range of Yoga 2 Hear audio yoga classes, are safe and effective and available from www.yoga2hear.co.uk.

 

Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured - B.K.S. Iyengar