3 Mistakes Even Smart Yogis make resulting in Less Benefits from their Yoga Practice.
- Sans Savasana
- Unnatural flow
- Ditching the daily practice
Even if you do Savasana, it is easy to take the instruction for Savasana and not really practice the pose. Savasana is considered one of the most difficult poses and also one of the most beneficial. Savasana (Corpse pose) offers us the chance to be reborn with every yoga session.
The perfect Savasana:
- Find comfort (warmth, ease, stability) in the whole body, especially the neck, shoulders and hips.
- Listen to the spontaneous rhythms of the breath
- Release downwards with every exhalation. Find that feeling of surrender.
- Allow thoughts to come and go, rather than trying to stop thoughts. Imagine thoughts as clouds drifting by in the skies above. Let them float past and disappear.
- Allow a natural slowing of the breath and mind, finally allowing total stillness within the body. If you have to move, move slowly and as little as possible.
- Stay for at least 10-15 minutes.
Finding your Yoga flow, but forgetting to link it into Nature’s intelligent rhythms can leave you missing some important benefits from your practice. Ashtanga practice follows the natural flow of the Moon, pausing practice at the New Moon and Full Moon. Seasonal Yoga practices match the energy of each practice to the current Season. Ayurvedic Yoga practices match the rise and fall of the qualities/Guna with the chosen sequences and poses. Doing the same in your practice can reconnect you to the natural earthly rhythms present within.
How to reconnect to Nature’s rhythms:
- Spring – Get moving and burn any residual mucous and fats.
- Early Summer – Cool, soothe and restore with Yin/Restorative Yoga, before moving forward in the year.
- Late Summer – Ground your poses and your practice. Create routine in the times you practice and think about your poses from the feet up….and then expand to your full potential!
- Autumn – Practice your Pranayama. Get the lungs and the guts eliminating with breathing techniques and twists.
- Winter – Build up your strength, immunity and digestion with Agni Sara, Nauli and Bhastrika.
As a Yoga teacher I often get asked what I would recommend for more flexibility, relieving shoulder tension, poses for sciatica, learning meditative techniques, relieving stress etc. The first question I always ask is “Do you have a daily practice?” The answer is often no. The most important and the most difficult change to your Yoga routine may be establishing a daily practice of poses, pranayama and meditation.
One way to design your own ‘at home’ yoga flow:
- Take savasana as instructed above
- Chant ‘OM’ 3 times
- Rub your hands together and place them over the eyes. Take a deep breath.
- Take 1-5 Sun Salutations or a Vinyasa flow sequence
- Choose a backbend pose (Take three deep breaths)
- Choose a forward fold pose (Take three deep breaths)
- Choose a simple inversion pose (Take three deep breaths)
- Choose a simple twist (Take three deep breaths)
- Choose a pranayama or simply lengthen and slow the breaths
- Take some time in a comfortable seated pose (or seat) for meditation (1 – 15 minutes)
You could also practice along with this Spring Season Audio Yoga practice online http://soniawelch.co.uk/free-yoga/, which is changed each Season.
A daily yoga practice can release built up stresses and strains, calm the mind, enhance elimination (detox), ensure proper circulation of nutrients, oxygen and Prana, optimise immunity, increase focus, attention and will-power.
Spring is a time of new growth and a great Season to implement the changes above into your Yoga Practice.
v. prac·ticed, prac·tic·ing, prac·tic·es
1. To do or perform habitually or customarily; make a habit of.
2. To do or perform (something) repeatedly in order to acquire or polish a skill
3. To give lessons or repeated instructions to; drill
4. To work at.