1. Be Realistic. Be Disciplined.
Choosing consistency over intensity. Practicing once a week over a long period of time is better than five times a week over a short period of time. Being honest with the availability we have and why we want to practice and creating a realistic schedule that feels inspiring is essential.
2. Stay Curious
The body is directly connected to the ego so we can fall prey to judgment and expectations. This leads to a rigid body and mind. Choosing to practice with curiosity and keeping the beginners mind awake enhances self-awareness and lightness of being.
Yoga is in large part listening. Listen to your breath, your body, the chatter of your mind, the teachings, the silence…When we listen we relax and open to intuition. This leads to a release of tension and an increase of ease and stability.
4. Be Devotional
Although yoga keeps our body fit, yoga is not a fitness routine it is a spiritual and devotional practice. Practicing as an expression of devotion to health, happiness, love, possibilities, our God or…is where much of the magic of yoga resides.
5. Intention. Attention.
Our attention if one of our greatest superpowers as what receives the gift of our attention comes to life. Being intentional and recognizing the power of our attention as a source of Prāna, we practice with intention and attention.
6. Be You — Yoga asanas are for everybody but not every asana is for every body
Our body is unique. Our story is unique. We go through a variety of phases and our bodies change. We may have injuries, trauma, illness or…that require attention. Speaking with our health care provider and asking if there are movement that should be avoided is a sound approach. Being intuitive, curious and attentive will also help find our unique beneficial expression of the practice. As an internal practice the gifts of yoga are not found in the complexity of the asana they are found in our ability to choose asanas and expressions of asanas that make us strong, easeful, resilient, calm and vibrant.
7. The Trio — Read. Learn. Connect.
We need three things on the yogic path. We need a teacher, a community and we need to read. Leaving a yoga book out so that we can spend a few minutes reading a little something works well. Being part of a yoga community and learning from a teacher keeps us inspired.
8. Include the Whole
Yoga practice includes asanas, pranayama, meditation, journaling, devotion, healthy diet…Yoga is a way of life. There are periods when getting on the mat is challenging but that doesn’t mean we have to stop practicing as there is always something to practice — A mindful breath, a mantra before a meal, a morning prayer, inquiry based journaling… 9. Breathe
Our asana practice is a dance with the breath, a meditation/prayer in movement. Keeping the eyes steady and relaxed, feeling like we are just about to smile we make space for the breath of life.
10. Be Grateful
Acknowledging the beauty and gifts of the practice we express gratitude for having the desire, the discipline and the space to practice.
Keep these tips on the forefront of your mind. The more we use them the more the meanings reveal themselves.
I would love to hear from you. Comments and questions are always welcomed.