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Yoga Insights

Extra Care for Yoga Flow

A lot of times I like to practice asanas one at a time, holding the poses for a while and taking short rests in between, when appropriate. But I also like to practice Salute to the Sun, flowing from one pose to another. Because there are so many different types of flow yoga classes available now, I just wanted to give you a few words of caution, especially if you’re new to the practice of asanas.

When you’re in a class moving quickly through the poses, there’s not a lot of time for the teacher to give detailed instructions or to correct you, so it’s best if you’re already familiar with the poses. If in a class you are taught to jump into a pose that you are not familiar with, be careful, don’t feel obligated to follow or you may end up hurting yourself.

Sometimes teachers offer fairly advanced poses as part of a sequence. If you’re not sure how to do a pose, or if you feel it might be risky, stop and watch, or rest in Baby Pose. In a flow class, you’ll be doing a lot of standing forward bends. If your hamstrings are tight or you have lower back issues, be sure to bend your knees when bending forward. This takes the strain off your lower back while still stretching the backs of your legs. If you find yourself getting exhausted and longing for the floor poses to begin, please rest. You don’t need to keep up with anyone.

Remember, practicing yoga asanas is something you do for yourself, for your own health and well-being. To stay safe, it’s important to listen to the messages your body is sending you. This can be harder to do when you’re moving quickly, so be extra attentive. Then be sure to act on what your body’s telling you—by resting or doing an easier version of the pose. Have fun and stay safe!

The Real Purpose of Yoga

Some people practice yoga to attain a perfect body—in terms of lasting beauty and health. However, such a goal is impossible to achieve. A real yogi recognizes this fact. A real yogi knows that the purpose of yoga asanas and breathing techniques is to attain optimum health—or one’s best possible physical condition, given their genetics, history, lifestyle, environment, and age.

Yoga for the Immune System

Practicing yoga asanas, even doing gentle poses for just 15 minutes a day, releases tension from our bodies, reduces our stress, and strengthens our immune system, all of which help keep away winter ills like coughs and colds. Doing Salute to the Sun regularly is also quite beneficial for building up resistance to coughs and colds. Yoga asanas in general help us breathe more fully, which strengthens our lungs and helps make them more resilient to viruses that are often floating around. Regular practice is key for prevention, because once you catch a cold, it’s best to rest.

Yoga Poses For Good Digestion

When we’re young, we rarely think about our digestion. But often, after years of living with stress, eating on the run, overeating, eating the wrong kinds of food, all combined with the natural effects of getting older, our digestion may gradually weaken. We may experience heartburn, gas, or belching, or just feel uncomfortably full after a meal.

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