yoga practice tips

Doing Yoga with the Right Consciousness

In many yoga asana classes, it is very common for students to look at the person beside them to see how far the other is twisting and bending.  They think, “Oh that person twisted 10 inches.  I only twisted 2 inches.”

Wai Lana Meditation

Classes like this are always full of tension and may even result in injuries because of the competitive atmosphere.  One of the objectives of yoga asanas is to relieve you of tension and heal your body of minor ailments, not worsen your stress and cause you injury.

This is the reason why I always reiterate to all my students that doing yoga asanas is not a competition.  You simply need to go as far as your body can go, according to its own condition.  This means you need to feel and listen to your body.  In this way, you will be careful and sensitive and you will not push yourself beyond your limits.  After all, you are not doing yoga asanas to impress other people.  Rather, you are simply doing it for your own health.  This is the proper consciousness to be in.

Don’t worry if you can’t twist as far as the other person or if you can’t stand on your head like the person beside you.  It is irrelevant.  A broom stands on its head!

So don’t fall into this trap of competing against somebody else or looking at the other person.  Just do your yoga asanas in a way that is conducive to the health of the body, not damaging it.

If you practice your yoga asanas in this noncompetitive consciousness, you’ll find yourself more relaxed and peaceful after your asana session and you’ll save yourself from a whole barrage of injuries!

Wai Lana’s Tips on How to Get the Best Out of Your Yoga Practice

Some yoga poses are easy for us; we like doing them and practice them regularly. At that point when the pose becomes easy for you, it’s time to find another pose!

Let’s say you learned a new pose yesterday that was quite hard for you. When it comes time to do it today, you’re reluctant. You know how stiff you were in that pose, how little movement you got, and it felt uncomfortable. So you’re inclined to skip that one.  Those are just the poses that your body needs.

If you persevere to learn a new pose, you’ll go through different stages. The first stage of reluctance usually lasts about a month. But as your body loosens up, you’ll move into the second stage. The pose becomes tolerable and your body and mind no longer resist so much. This stage may last another six weeks or so, getting better and better. Finally, you’ll get to stage three; the pose will be quite pleasant and enjoyable.

Yoga Pose

Try to imagine it.  While I’m not advocating pushing too hard, sometimes just imagining you can go further into a pose will get you there. It gives you the will to try just a little harder.

Relax as you practice.  Don’t stress about how stiff you are; just watch your breath; notice how it affects your body, and let it help you open and release into the pose.

So next time you’re doing a pose you find difficult, instead of doing it halfheartedly, thinking “I can’t do this pose,” remember these tips.  And be careful to follow all the safety guidelines, especially the most important principle which is to listen carefully to your body and never push your body beyond its limits.

USA | UK | Australia
All Prices are in USD. © 2014 Wai Lana Productions, LLC. All rights reserved.