Lessons with Yoga: Questions before practice

-A A +A

Saturday, March 14, 2015


THIS month becomes re-start of my yoga sojourn. Last week, I went into an Ashtanga yoga Challenge with Teacher Jang Samson, then I am now completing my 10-day Ashtanga Challenge in the island born of Fire – Camiguin.

Let me share some lessons from the past days. As a yogi, there are times I asked myself in my daily practice, is this enough? How deep is my practice? Should I continue this or not? These are doubts and questions about how my Yoga journey has been.

I do home practice if I can go the studio. Sometimes it’s hard to find a good place to be in your mat, but it doesn’t matter as long as you do practice.

Advertisement

Your home yoga practice should be an ecstatic expression of who you are, in the present moment.

That means that it, like you, can and should change over time and whatever the time that you want. I do practice in the morning, the yogi hour at 4 a.m., sometimes 10 a.m. or even mid-afternoon. Your yoga practice does not have to look like anyone else’s. Nor should it! It should be uniquely and divinely you. So get creative and express yourself but try to stay within some structure.

The beauty of yoga is that it is different for everyone. Yes! Precisely, and correctly true. We see this first in class—some students will be flowing through a full vinyasa—hopping back into chaturanga dandasana and then upward facing dog, while others will be blessed out in child's pose, sending their hips to their heels and resting their foreheads on the mat. I know it is okay to come to rest pose as long as you want.

I found these questions relatable and borrowed them from Yoganonymous.

So before you begin, answer some simple questions. This is not a test; this is an assessment, asking you what you need to create a sustainable home practice. Take out a journal and start writing answers, stream-of-consciousness style, not letting your egos or the “shoulds” of your life get in the way.

Let's begin—and remember: there are no wrong answers:

Why would you like to practice yoga?

To build strength? To get more flexible? To remember to breathe? To learn about philosophy?

What do you need for a practice to be sustainable? How long would you like to practice each day?

10 minutes? An hour and a half? Somewhere in between? The power of yoga lies in its consistency, not in the individual duration of each practice. I can do as much as 15 to 20 minutes of Sun Salutation.

What times of day are best for you to practice? Let’s be real: If you have a tendency to roll out of bed and into your day, a morning practice probably isn’t for you unless you are in some dire need of changing that habit. Are you exhausted by the time 3 p.m. rolls around? Maybe insert your yoga practice into the middle of your day. Work with yourself.
Where would you like to practice?

What props might you need?

What pace would you like?

Do you want to hold poses for a long or short time? Are you a chaturanga junkie or a restorative lounger? Can you use the pace to balance out your Ayurvedic doshas?

What are the staples of your practice, the elements that you can come home to?

Chanting Om before you begin? Cat/cows? What are your favorite parts of all the yoga classes you have taken, the things you’ve never gotten sick of? Write them down!

What do you want your yoga practice to convey about you and your personality?

Fierce? Fun? Fabulous? Flowy? Restorative? Rejuvenating? Relaxed? Badass? Bold? Brave? (Can you tell I’m an English major with my love of alliteration?)

For something to be sustainable, we have to fit it into our lives. Maybe you are a college student and can practice in between seminar classes. Maybe you are a single mom and have ten minutes in the morning before you take the kids to school. Maybe you're working in an office and you can squeeze forty minutes in during your lunch break.

Don't float to the extremes because, chances are, that practice won't last very long and remember these wise words of wisdom: "It's a yoga practice, not a yoga perfect.

Namaste.

***

(Source: Credits to - http://yoganonymous.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-before-you-begin-a-h...)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 15, 2015.

Lifestyle

DISCLAIMER: Sun.Star website welcomes friendly debate, but comments posted on this site do not necessary reflect the views of the Sun.Star management and its affiliates. Sun.Star reserves the right to delete, reproduce or modify comments posted here without notice. Posts that are inappropriate will automatically be deleted.

Forum rules: Do not use obscenity. Some words have been banned. Stick to the topic. Do not veer away from the discussion. Be coherent and respectful. Do not shout or use CAPITAL LETTERS!