Ok, there’s no nationally declared day…yet. So, I’m unofficially declaring Fridays, Yoga Play Day! We often take yoga WAY too seriously, so take a step back, and then a step forward, and make it fun. Clear out the dharmic cob … Continue reading
Thanks for this piece. I love practicing yoga outside in the morning while all is calm and peaceful. Have a beautiful weekend. Namaste.
Maybe it’s lingering inspiration from Earth Day or the magic of spring, but lately I’ve been taking my yoga practice outdoors. Practicing in nature is a doorway to the very origins of asana. Yoga’s roots lie in the early shamanistic traditions of India (later influencing and being influenced by Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism). It is said that the rishis (seers) closely observed nature, and that this is why yoga postures celebrate the earth and its life forms.
Balance next to an ancient juniper—whose roots penetrate rock and whose branches withstand lightning and withering heat—and you begin to understand the essence of Vrksasana (Tree Pose). Feet root into stone as leg muscles engage, creating stability and a sense of groundedness, while the upper body rises toward the sky, sparking a dynamic polarity between earth and heaven.
Yoga postures celebrate the earth and its life forms.
Lie belly-down on sun-warmed sandstone in…
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We can’t seem to get away from the great yoga debate that’s raging these days in every news outlet across the country – does yoga help or hurt? I emphatically believe that if a practice hurts, strains, or stresses, then it’s not yoga. It can challenge us, help us find our edge, and raise our potential – yoga can, should, and often does all of those things. But that’s a fine line – the distinction between hurting and challenging.
So how do we know if yoga is right for us? The only way to know is to try, though there are some basic guidelines to follow when starting a yoga practice:
1.) If you’re new to yoga, seek out a class that’s labeled beginner, basics, gentle, or restorative. These classes generally have teachers who are trained to specifically help beginners get comfortable with a class. They are usually welcoming and warm environments that encourage learning and questions. You could also pick up a copy of a beginner yoga DVD. When I first started practicing, I used Rodney Yee’s AM / PM DVD all the time. It was a great primer for me and even now I sometimes take it out to review a simple, solid beginning routine. The basics always have something new to teach us. Continue reading