Yoga, Meditation, Healthy Recipes & Natural Lifestyle Tips
Enjoy Wai Lana’s easy-to-make, nutritious soup for every season.
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.”
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!
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.
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.
A good night’s sleep is valuable for our overall health. Did you ever notice that when you are sick, you’d rather sleep and sleep? This is the body’s natural way of healing and repairing. Indeed, the role of sleep in maintaining the healthy functions of the body cannot be overemphasized. Some people are lucky and fall asleep as soon as they close their eyes. Some are less fortunate and toss and turn on their beds all night waiting for sleep to come.
Whatever kind of sleep difficulty you may be experiencing – yoga asanas and yoga meditation is very beneficial in achieving a restful slumber. Yoga asanas relieve muscle tension from stress and can also lessen common health problems that may interfere with your sleep, such as indigestion and any kind of body pain. Try to avoid intense poses that involve twisting and bending backward too close to your bedtime. These poses are invigorating rather than relaxing. Gentle forward bends will make you relax. As with any of your asana practice, proper breathing is of utmost importance. So breathe right during your asana practice and end your session with yoga nidra to fully experience the good effects of yoga asanas and pranayam to your sleep.
You can find many articles and studies on how to improve and sustain one’s sleep – from drinking warm milk and taking warm showers to taking an array of different drugs, whether natural sleeping pills or heavy sedatives. All these may help you sleep. However, most do not address the problem of a restless mind. A restless mind is one of the most common causes of insomnia. Unless we control and restrain our minds, it will jump from one thing to another, just like a monkey. A restless mind is very troublesome and will never give us rest. Just like our bodies need rest, our minds also need rest and we can do this through Yoga Sound Meditation.
By the regular practice of Yoga Sound Meditation, you can greatly reduce tension and stress and overcome anxiety, worry, and other disturbances of the mind.
So instead of letting your mind trouble you until the wee hours in the morning, I encourage you to do Yoga Sound Meditation. Once your mind is focused on the yoga sound, you’ll notice that you are able to finally fall asleep because your mind is no longer troubling you. You will feel at peace.
So say goodbye to sleepless nights and those sleeping pills by doing yoga.
With the heat of summer upon us, we’d like to share one of Wai Lana’s favorite smoothies with you. This smoothie truly is a delightful blend of fruits and herbs which give a surprising twist to this smoothie you, your family, and friends will surely enjoy.