It’s been a while since I shared something about my yoga practice. But my pursuit of living a truly healthy lifestyle has not stopped. I will never give up yoga because it is now a part of my life. And it has made my life profoundly joyful and peaceful. I recently started going to the gym and working out. Add working out at the gym to your yoga practice and it’s a perfect combination!
So today I would like to share some tips that would apply to all yoga poses. These tips I’ve learned from doing yoga, my yoga instructor, readings, and through practicing as well. I’ll provide some advice on form and these will maximize the benefits of your practice sessions. Move into the poses slowly and deliberately. And don’t forget to breathe!
- Lengthen your back and lift your sternum (your breastbone).
- Only bend as forward as you can with your back straight. The more you lift your sternum, the more your upper back will straighten, and the more you can lengthen your back, the straighter your lower back will be. Keeping the back straight strengthens the muscles and allows your posture to improve quickly. If you round your back when it should be straight, you train your spine to curve, which is definitely not the result you are looking for.
- Move from the hip crease. The hip crease is the hip joint, the place where the front of the hip and the leg meet.
- Straighten your knees and your elbows. If you can’t straighten your knees, try to lengthen your hamstrings (these are the muscles on the back of the thighs) and lift your quadriceps (these are the muscles on the front of the thighs). If your elbows don’t straighten, lengthen your arms as much as possible. Work on these things, and of course, as always – remember to breathe.
- Keep your head in line with your spine. In other words, don’t tilt your head backwards as you do the poses, or else you will give yourself a neckache.
- Keep your throat, neck, shoulders, and jaw soft. Soft means relaxed. Try to be conscious of this and you will feel more relaxed throughout your practice.
- These poses are designed for people with normal limitations. You should start slowly and not overdo it.
- One side may be more challenging than the other side, so you should do that side twice. (That’s just my suggestion.)
- Loose comfortable clothing or workout clothes are best for yoga practice.
- Bare feet are essential unless you are in some of the resting poses.
Some days it will be easy to do yoga, other days it may be tough getting started. Believe me I know. But I just think about the rewards I reap from practicing yoga. It has so far surpassed my expectations, my optimistic dreams for physical well-being, joy and inner peace. Health has replaced injury, gratitude has replaced worry, self-confidence has replaced fear. I see happiness all around, no matter how bad the circumstances. All aspects of my life have been transformed – and is still being transformed. So if you are also considering starting a very rewarding yoga practice, then go and just do it!
As always, if you have questions, comments, or suggestions, my comment box is below and the contact page is just right there above. I have received lots of emails from wonderful men and women who are interested to start Yoga in Iloilo – love it! Hope you will contact me too. Namaste.