Essential Tips for Yoga
Tip 1. Take the class at your own pace.
It is not part of “The Path of Yoga” to injure yourself.
Tip 2. Legs are last!
Find variations to suit you: If in doubt stretch from heels/tailbone, (depending on the pose) to the crown of the head. A suitable variation may be to bend your knees in a pose.
Remember oftentimes a stretch for the legs is not the primary function of a pose. In a forward bend the primary function is a stretch the structures of the lower back (lumbo-sacral spine).
Bending the knees is much “truer” to a pose than straightening the legs and hunching over!
Tip 3. Don’t allow the ego to take over.
Keep your focus on your own mat rather than another student’s. Move slowly into new poses, explore how the pose feels for you. There is no rush.
Tip 4. Be patient.
If you are not able for the “full pose” move towards the pose (unless you are in pain). Don’t give up! “Isolate” movement. Focused, precise movement is a 100 times more effective than dramatic, uncontrolled motion.
Tip 5. Let me know if you have injuries.
I will not be offended if you “sit something out” for that reason. I will give you an alternative when I can. There is a vast difference between doing nothing and practicing a suitable alternative!
Tip 6. Breath.
Inhaling and exhaling are as high a priority in your practice as the Asanas (poses). Release deeper into poses and dissolve tension with the breath!
The value of controlled breathing throughout your practice can not be over-emphasized. Like the chi of Yoga, “Prana” is the life-force energy. Breathing work (Pranayama) brings this vital energy to all areas of the body.
Tip 7. Enjoy! Yoga is fun.
Don’t worry! Move with the breath and tune in to the natural grace of your body. Focus on your own practice, this is where the joy is; it will allow others to do the same.