5 Reasons To Rethink Your Vigorous Vinyasa Practice
By Nate Metz, The Green Shaman
In our body image obsessed culture, America has largely turned yoga into a fitness craze with cursory namastes and the requisite buddha statue. Every day I see students who pursue a vigorous practice that is not serving their greatest good. It’s time to reevaluate your ideal life and see how your current yoga practice fits into that image, making adjustments as needed. Reflect on the following items, comparing each satya (truth) with your current point of view.
1. Check Your Asana Ego
Complex twists, balances and inversions are beautiful, but they are not right for everyone. The ultimate goal of yoga is to understand the body and the mind, using your practice as a tool to explore consciousness. Ask yourself why you are pursuing those difficult poses and for whom you are doing them. The benefit of a pose does not have a direct relationship with its skill or experience level.
2. Balance = Health
If you life a face-paced life, juggling career, relationship, children and a slew of other obligations, you may be better suited to a Yin or Restorative style class. Adding a fast-paced, high energy practice to an already stressed life risks burnout and dis-ease. No one is immune to the dynamic laws of spirit that seek to create a state of equilibrium.
3. Yoga Without Spirit Is Just Calisthenics
Chanting OM, setting intentions and adding meditation are vital to a beneficial yoga practice. The most difficult yoga class I ever took was a series of very basic asana, but the direction and guidance from the teacher really challenged me because I couldn’t just go through the motions. I had to stay fully present and engage every fiber of my being.
4. Rote Practices Are Boring
We may be creatures of habit, but doing the same asanas in the same sequence gets boring. You can only do so many primary sequences before you will get bored. Although adding themes is a Western addition to class, finding the right teacher and studio that offer themes that excite and inspire you will take your yoga to the next level. It’s like having a part-time guru that will direct you to the spiritual awakenings and enlightenment that make yoga so rewarding. Take class with multiple teachers. Why limit yourself to one?
5. Proper Breathing Essential To Heart Benefit
Pranayama is an essential part of your yoga practice. Trying to keep up the pace by defaulting into a rapid breath pattern diminishes the cardiovascular benefits of yoga. Deep and full breathing, like that of the ujjayi, ensures you are getting to most from your practice. Move with your breath, fitting each asana into the breath even if it feels slow to you right now.
If any of these resonate with you, I encourage you to explore other options to deepen and enrich your yoga practice. Kaya offers both floor and aerial classes that meet a variety of wellness goals. We also specialize in private training of pranayama so that you can learn proper breathing techniques to take into your regular practice. Each of our teachers infuse classes with these techniques, spiritual teachings and dynamic flows that provide supports your greatest good.
If you are not totally satisfied with your results from your current yoga, you should explore a different style of yoga before giving up all together. So often, I see students fervently chasing a vigorous practice when a softer approach with an intuitive flow or the support of an aerial hammock is the better choice for them. There is a type of yoga suitable for everyone, and I’m a proponent of finding a personal practice that is consistent, frequent and transformational. So, I challenge you to try one of our classes to see the difference for yourself. There is a special coupon on this page for you to try some classes at Kaya this fall. Call me at 302-227-3450 to get started today and find yourself at Kaya.
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