Asanas and Yoga
- Asana means “posture/pose” in Sanskrit. Why do we perform all these strange poses in Yoga? To respond to this question, we need to clarify what Yoga is precisely.
- Contrary to what one might think, Yoga is much more than a mere physical practice (= Asanas) and breathing exercices (called in Sanskrit Pranayama). It is a science developed in India thousand years ago to educate the body, mind and spirit. Yoga is actually a state of being, where your mind and your body are one, where you reach a total serenity.
- The purpose of Yoga is to realize and live in your full potential: be self-empowered. It is a path of liberation for your body and mind. We use the physical aspect of Yoga to free our mind from its fluctuations and live out of our window frame, and eventually take the spiritual path (only if it is your original quest of course!)
- Try this: practice with your heart and not with your mind. With time, check how your body has opened up and how your perception of the outside world has changed!
How to properly perfom Asanas?
- Actively engage your muscles and align your body following the instructions so that your body will be pain free and avoid injury. Besides, the outer form looks better!
- Keep breathing smoothly to allow a better flow of energy within your body and eventually, you may go deeper in a safe way.
- It is recommended to drink lots of water after the practice to avoid soreness, but more importantly to avoid dehydration. Believe it or not, you sweat a lot while practicing yoga (contrary to popular beliefs).
Practicing with awareness
- You are responsible for your body, so be aware of what your body is capable of doing, don’t force it. This is what we call “practicing with awareness”.
- Yoga is not about performance. It is about safety instead. There is no judgment about others or yourself. We all have our weak points. Believe me or not, mine are flexibility and abs! I have been working for years to improve my flexibility and strength. I still struggle in every stretching pose, and abs exercises are not my favourite ones!
- Just do what you are able to do today. Tomorrow is another day. No rush. Your flexibility and strength will improve someday, but it requires patience and effort. Apply the tips of yoga to your daily life, and the result will be visible quicker than expected!
Soreness is different from pain!
- If any pain, back off. Pain usually occurs in joints such as shoulder joint, knee joint, hips joint, etc… Pain is different from stiffness or sensation of burn. Soreness occurs in the muscles instead. Don’t forget to drink lots of water after the practice to avoid muscles soreness and dehydration! (Beer is not water… 😉 )