One of the greatest benefits to yoga practice is our ability to feel safe, well cared for and appreciated. When we take the time for our spirit, we feel strong, peaceful empowered and connected to universal force. The universe as Edwina Gaines like to say, “loves me, nutures me and wants me to win”. So how do we build a better yoga practice outside of yoga class? This article will explain.
In order to create the right sacred space, think about setting a reasonable schedule. Try to practice regularly about 10-15 minutes first thing in the morning and again in the evening before retiring for bed. These times of the day are the most important.
More importatly, be realistic about stillness and space. Often our greatest obstacle is our own expectation that yoga and meditation is about perfect stillness or having a particular blissful state. The gift you give to yourself is a timeless realm where you can learn to simply be. Put some soft music on, open a window, particularly if it is cold outside. The most important thing is just to bring yourself, start by sitting quietly, maybe writing in a journal, appreciating that first cup of coffee, and then begin to move the body gently through safe and accessible postures. For a list of correct sequences, please come to our yoga studio, ask a yoga instructor, or sign up for our Facebook page.
The second step is make sure to clear away the clutter. When your room is messy with piles of clothes or books, this will distract and create also a busy mind. So, in your new, clean space, add some soft lighting, implement new tea lights. Have some fresh flowers, dry the flowers, purchase a bunch of lavender, fresh cinnamon sticks in a glass, place a picture of yourself when you were little, happy, and full of wonder for this existence. You may even like to occasionally change your space around adding and taking away family heirlooms or wonderful gifts received from friends. Have about you, things that bring certainty and good feeling. You may even like to start an altar or have a vision board with wonderful images from magazine pictures that represent your heart’s true desire.
How do you know when you are practicing the movements correctly? When you practice yoga, it is supposed to hurt but a good kind of hurt. Good pain is when your body feels sensation. Sensation in the body are places where energy has become trapped in the tissues of te body. Any areas that are tight, achey, confrontational, dull will come up to surface in order that they may heal. Meeting sensation with breath rather than judgement about what the experience is, will create awareness and greater acceptance. Use common sense. Anytime, you feel anything sharp, electrical or taking away your breath, remember this is not yoga.
Meditation is a flow state, a realization of learning to trust in the moment and finding that universal support inside. Be in a state of gratitude for it all. Be in awe of even the smallest ways in which you receive and are supported by the universe. Be willing to have a welcoming attitude and open yourself to joy.
Rumi, a famous mystical sufi, once said “sell your cleverness, and purchase bewilderment”. The people that are there in your life, that love you, the peace and quiet of your office space. The fresh food in your fridge that awaits your next meal. Realize in this moment, how many people are taking care of you. More and more, we see that if we are positive and can stay centered, we will attract more of the same.
So, get started having fun, let go of the busy mind that constantly wonders if you are doing it right, and tap into effortless knowing, harmony and meditation that you will find constant universal light within. The real secret to a successful yoga practice is just to keep on keeping on!
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