The first yoga I ever attempted was on WiiFit. It had a simple yoga section that tested your balance and stamina during a few basic yoga poses, including Tree Pose, Plank, and Shoulder Stand. Shoulder stand was quite intimidating for my former hefty frame, but I told myself that I would one day, unlock that pose.
I did in fact, unlock Shoulder Stand. It was the first time I looked up at my protruding jelly belly, rather than down at it. This inverted view of myself didn’t bother me. It just gave me new perspective.
I have a very “posey” practice. My sequences include arm balances, twists, supported inversions and transitions. I used to be obese, so range of motion was limited. Propping up into shoulder stand for the first time introduced so much space in my body, and mind. I practice the way I do because it reminds me of the freedom I have in my temple. I play in the now, and create more space when I’m ready.
Whether you are interested in starting a home practice or looking to deepen where you are now, here are some tips I discovered into my yoga practice:
Watch yoga videos, take classes, do workshops, and flip through yoga magazines. Spending time with different teachers and styles gives you the tools build something beautiful. Pay attention to what you deeply respond to.
2. Own the perfect mat.
Find one with a color, pattern and texture that radiates for you. Take it out with you often and find uses other than yoga. It brings a sense of comfort and adventure you can use in your practice.
3. Do not compare your practice or style to others.
Focusing on others during your time could make you feel rushed, unfocused, frustrated and unaware of what you are doing. Yoga serves best during moments of complete presence. Surrender to yourself.
4. Use your yoga to heal.
Enter your practice during times of sadness, stress, heartbreak, fatigue, etc., and observe any improvements with your mood or condition. Knowing that you can refer to and trust your practice keeps it alive.
5. Set intentions.
This is truly an effective part of yoga, because those intentions will keep you grounded and present. It helps guide the sequence. Intentions could be anything! Such as: focusing on the breath, opening the heart, sending strength to a loved one, breaking a sweat, finding forgiveness, igniting your core…
6. Let go of pride.
Practicing yoga is a wonderful opportunity to be feel humble and grateful. Instead of feeling proud of your yoga journey, be grateful for it. Even if you seek changes, celebrate where you are now. Look up at your belly for that first time.
7. Enjoy. It’s playtime.
Sabrina Vetter, Chief Staff Writer and Holistic Health Enthusiast