Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Give Yourself a Challenge

(Previously published in the Sept. 2011 Newsletter)
In order for our yoga practice to grow, we must learn how to challenge ourselves both in body and mind.  During September, National Yoga Month, why not deepen your practice by giving yourself a challenge.  You may want to consider using some of the following techniques:
Move to the Edge when you are in a familiar posture by stretching a little deeper into your posture.  This stretching is a magic place known only to you.  By being in touch with your body, you can listen for when you've arrived at YOUR edge.  Release all distractions and focus on your body, as you explore your edge, posture by posture.
Add a Challenging Posture or two to your routine.  Look for the ones that give you a feeling of strength, power and self-confidence.  Think about the one that you usually avoid or the one that you've told yourself you can't possibly do--just try it.  Be in tune with your breath and how it helps you move your body to the edge with your new postures.  Let go of the negative emotions and allow yourself the opportunity to meet your challenge.
Visualization Offers Power in working towards a difficult posture. When you learn to use the power of the mind, you will be able to help your body move deeper into a pose, just by working to SEE yourself in a new pose or just deeper into an existing pose.  Just deepen your breath and work to SEE every detail of moving into your challenging pose.  SEE yourself smiling and holding the pose for a longer period of time.  Focus, breathe deeply and power up with this new awareness.
Pratyahara to Help Create Inner Focus.  This is the point in your yoga practice where you move from the exterior sensations to the interior, using the breath and mind to focus on the body.  The key is to observe your body and breath as a witness. 
Try these methods on your own, or ask me about them at the beginning of the next class you attend.
Namaste, Debbie

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