Not much information is given in the yoga sutra’s about the asanas (postures). Here is what they DO say……..
Yoga should be done over an extended period of time. You might ask, “How long will I practice yoga before I see the results I want to see?”. Pantanjali (the person who wrote the sutras or knowledge of yoga) does not say, except over an extended period of time. Yoga is not for people who are terribly inpatient. It takes time to open the body up, just as it took lifetimes or years for the body to get stiff. Yoga works just like water falling over stones. It takes some time for the stones shape to change, but change it will.
Yoga practice should be consistent. I know some clients who have started yoga with great zeal, only to burn out some months or years later. Just like eating healthy, managing finances, or anything else, your yoga practice will work when you consistently set aside the time for it. When your body comes to yoga, it’s akin to having many layers of cloths on. As you practice yoga, you begin to shed these layers. These layers are made up of emotional blocks, physical ailments, mental problems. It’s been my experience, that sometimes during your yoga practice, you encounter one of these blocks or problems. Here is where many people stop practicing. Change is uncomfortable, growth even more so. You need to be consistent for the yoga to work. You might have to change your approach to postures, or find another teacher, but keep practicing and being consistent, the yoga will work.
Yoga postures should be steady, and full of ease. You should be able to breath in and out of your nose, even inhales, even exhales. If you find yourself shaking, rest in child’s pose. If you’ve lost your breath, and you are panting like a dog, rest in child’s pose. If your muscles are shaking, rest in child’s pose. Often people on the go, type A’s have a very hard time of relaxing. They can’t imagine how a slow class, or restorative class could be healing or what they need. These people will benefit the most from adding a restorative class to their practice.
Yoga practice should be sincere, diligent, eager, devoted and approached with much zealous. That means, you need to take yoga to the next step for it to work. Have you been doing the above, but only practicing beginner classes? Have you been doing many classes a week, and do not feel challenged? It’s time for you to try something different. Try hammock yoga, or a hot class if you tend to gravitate towards beginner classes. If you only attend advance or hot classes try a beginner class or restorative yoga. If you already do a great variety of classes, and then the next step would be teacher training, to learn more about the philosophy. The idea here is that sometimes we get stuck into wanting the yoga to come in how we LIKE it. What we might need is a different approach. We might need to invert, or restore, or just change our approach. Our practice should be something we enjoy and look forward to. And yes, yoga practice should challenge us to stay alert, whether that is simply watching our mind in restorative yoga, or letting our fear go in hammock yoga.
I promise yoga WILL work. It has for me, and many others.
See you on the mat,