In October of 2011 I started yoga. My first class was a power yoga class – a bit fast for a newbie. I then attended more classes that were based more on holding poses and breathing. Breathing is a very important part of yoga. A class should not be too easy as it should force you to really think about getting your body into the poses. You actively listen to the instructor and shut out all other parts of your life for the class.
For those of you who are stressed, yoga is an amazing way to reduce stress. The active listening to the instructor really quiets your mind. The breathing allows oxygen to flow throughout your body which helps with circulation and muscle relaxation. The stretching also helps with circulation.
My favourite part of the class is at the end for the posture called Savasana. Just before the class ends with about 10 minutes to go, we end in Savasana. You lie on your back with your arms out beside you, palms up and your legs at the edge of your mat (think starfish or dead man pose). While in this pose you really relax. I have seen it preformed several ways. The main point is to calm the mind as much as the body. One teacher had us focus on a place where we felt very relaxed (mine is in my kayak by a set of rapids listening to the water as my kayak is lodged against a rock so it does not move). With that image and feeling you relaxed your body. We started at our toes and moved up to the top of our head and then just laid there with no thoughts going through our mind. It was awesome. I use my kayak image now to help calm myself so the benefits of yoga go beyond the mat.
If you have never tried yoga, I recommend a beginner’s class. Each class and each instructor is different. I love to mix it up so I get the benefit of each class and teaching style.
One special class I attend is on Sunday where the teacher is trained in Classical Yoga – a very different style of yoga. Jerry, our instructor focuses on form, breathing and gratitude. You leave the class feeling renewed and full of appreciation of the life you live. Healing at its best.
Since I started yoga I have noticed a great sense of change in myself. I have come to appreciate the small things in life and have learned to breath deeply from my stomach.
If you really love yoga, my cousin’s wife has a fantastic blog on yoga – in fact she won Malaysia’s Best Health & Wellbeing Blog 2012. Check it out at http://ninieahmad.com/
Are you ready to practice yoga so you can learn to breath again?
To your wellness,
Jo, your 9CupChallenge partner.