Yoga and Anxiety, Part 2

By Sejal Shah
December 5, 2015
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Riding the wave.

This article continues from last week’s Yoga and Anxiety, Part 1.  Regular yoga practice can help you stay calm and relaxed in daily life. Yoga also gives you the the strength to face events as they come, without losing your center. Yoga practice ideally includes the complete package of:

  • Asanas (body postures)
  • Pranayamas (breathing techniques)
  • Meditation
  • Ancient yoga philosophy

All have helped persons with anxiety recover and face life with new positivity and strength. The following yoga techniques can help calm an unsettled mind.

 

1. Practice asanas (yoga postures)
These yoga postures can help you achieve a happy and healthy mind and body. Asanas help release tension and negativity from the system. Particularly useful are:
◦ Bow Pose
◦ Fish Pose
◦ One-Legged Forward Bend
◦ Bridge Pose
◦ Cat Stretch
◦ Two-Legged Forward Bend
◦ Standing Forward Bend
◦ Downward Facing Dog
◦ Headstand
◦ Corpse Pose

Note: At the end of the yoga posture session, lay down in corpse pose to give your mind and body a few minutes of thorough relaxation. The technique is helpful in flushing out body toxins, a primary cause of stress, from the system. I use the CD by Art of Living, in which Sri Sri Ravi Shankar guides us into Yoga Nidra in his soothing voice and prayerful chants.

2. Practice pranayamas (breathing techniques)
Giving some attention to the breath will work wonders. Taking deeper, slower breaths can help free the mind of the unnecessary clutter of thoughts that breed anxiety. Try the following breathing practices:
◦ Deep Yogic Breaths
◦ Alternate Nostril Breathing (where the exhalation is longer than the inhalation)
◦ Bee Breath (Bhramari)

3. Meditate to enjoy the gift of a relaxed mind
Meditation can be an excellent technique to relax a distracted mind and give you a sense of calm and peace. Meditation also allows you to observe the tendencies of your own mind. Observing how your mind tends to stick to small, petty things gives you freedom from them. Similarly, meditation can help you not worry too much or get anxious about the unknown future.

4. Apply yoga philosophy in your life
Knowing and applying the ancient yoga knowledge in daily life can be the secret to happy and healthy living. Some simple yet profound principles of yoga (yamas and niyamas), directly address anxiety.

For instance, the Santosha principle (niyama) teaches the value of contentment. The Aprigraha principle can help us overcome greed, often a reason for stress and anxiety. Also, the Shaucha principle talks about cleanliness of the mind and body. This rule can particularly help if you tend to get too anxious about your health.

The yamas and niyamas of yoga also help us eat nutritious food and live a healthy lifestyle. Both aide in overcoming anxiety and stress. To understand the yoga philosophy, you may consider listening to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Commentary on Patanjali Yoga Sutras.

 
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Finding balance through yoga.

5. Pray, keep faith and smile!
Prayer is the best form of reassurance and support to keep you anxiety-free. Developing habits of daily prayer, chanting ancient mantras, or singing devotional songs fills you with positive energy and helps calm the mind. They also instill a sense of deep faith that all happens for the best and there is a higher power that takes care. Moreover, make a conscious effort to smile more and more. It will instill confidence, calmness and positive vibrations instantaneously. Try it out right now!

6. Engage in some service for others
When we constantly remain stuck in ‘me and mine,’ it makes room for stress and anxiety. We keep worrying about what will happen to us. Rather, if we shift our attention to how we can be of some use to others around us and engage our self with some voluntary activities, we can experience deep satisfaction and immense joy.

7. Know the impermanence of the world
When this realization sets in that everything around us is temporary and changing, we become relaxed and settled from within. A feeling of ‘this too will pass and not remain forever’ arises in us and frees us from anxiety.

8. Remember a similar past situation in which we overcame anxiety
Recall how we have felt this anxiety in so many situations in the past, yet each time you have made it through the situation and became stronger having done so. This fills us with immense courage that we can overcome the current situation. Remember your capacity and know that the universe gives us only those situations or problems that we can handle.

9. Keep positive company around
When we spend more time with positive-minded people, we are influenced by similar thoughts, which reflect in our attitude to life. In the company of a positive person, joy, peace and relaxation arise in our own mind.

 

It’s important to note that yoga is more than a one-time activity. It is a way of living. While an allopathic doctor helps you understand the type of anxiety disorder you may have, a yoga teacher will guide you to handle your life with a broader perspective.

Although yoga can positively impact one’s health, it is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and a trained yoga teacher.

 

If you are interested in trying out #1 today, click the button below.

 

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If you haven’t already, check out Yoga and Anxiety Part 1.

 

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: anxiety , beginning yoga , natural lifestyle , yoga

Yoga and Anxiety, Part 1

By Sejal Shah
November 15, 2015

40 million U.S. adults suffer from anxiety (that’s around 18 percent of Americans age 18 and over), making it the most common mental illness in the country. This number is gradually increasing; even those who have not been diagnosed are prone to experience stress, tension and anxiety in their day-to-day life. Today, many are anxious about how to deal with their anxiety!

 

Stress, fear, anxiety – if we start counting all those instances in life when we have experienced these emotions, we may lose count! Anxiety and nervousness over passing an important exam like the SAT, or our parent’s reaction to our report card, or a first date or a job interview– we have all lived through moments like these.

 

A little bit of fear is normal. In fact, just like salt in food, some small amounts of fear can be good, helping us stay disciplined, focused and dynamic.

Yoga and Anxiety - surfing the wave
The skill and ability to surf the wave of anxiety – that is yoga.
 

The problem starts when fear becomes so persistently intimidating that it interferes with our everyday life. Everyone suffers mild anxiety from time to time, but chronic anxiety takes a tremendous toll on our body, draining our energy and leaving the body in constant stress. These effects are magnified when combined with an unhealthy lifestyle, which can result in:
·      Muscle tension.
·      Constricted breathing.
·      A mind whirling in a swirl of thoughts that feed the problem.
Eventually, it can become an anxiety disorder, a state of excessive, chronic uneasiness, worry, or fear of the unknown. This is where techniques for managing the mind can help.

Do something spontaneous. Anxiety is always related to some anticipated action.

 

Techniques to Manage Anxiety

Here are some ways you can manage anxiety:
·       Sing, dance and celebrate. The very intention to celebrate will pull you towards a harmonious state.

·       Have faith and let go to the universe, or higher power. Know that the universe loves you and accepts you totally. A sense of security comes with the feeling of belongingness.

·       Remind yourself of the big picture and commit to a greater goal. Just look at the sky and see how small your problems appear. At the same time, know you are one of a kind.

·       Do something spontaneous. Anxiety grows from thinking too much about some anticipated action.

·       Be ready to face the worst. This will bring stability to your mind.

·       Finally, I recommend practicing yoga and, in particular, Sudarshan Kriya. This is a powerful breathing technique that uses specific, natural rhythms of breath to get you unstuck from stress. Sudarshan Kriya is a time-tested technique that millions of people across globe practice. One of its many benefits is a tension-free mind. 6 years ago, I learned this technique at an Art of Living Happiness Program. Every day since, I have been practicing it because it helps me to de-stress and recharge.

 

Yoga and Anxiety

Yoga is not just asanas, the physical body postures. The full tradition of yoga includes meditation, pranayama (breath-work), and ancient wisdom. Whether we know it or not, many of us have actually practiced yoga to calm our mind. For instance, have you ever told yourself or a friend in a difficult situation to just take a deep breath? That is using the rhythm of our breath to affect our mind, a practice of yoga. It is the ancient “chill pill.”

 

Humans have an innate ability to heal; what stops that healing is the stress and tension of daily life. Yoga calms our entire system. Today yoga is synonymous with peace of mind, relaxation and stress reduction. Through it, we can manage anxiety and release physical tension by moving our attention to the concrete reality of our body and breath.

 

You may have heard the phrase “adrenaline rush.” An adrenaline rush happens when we get stressed about a potential threat. Faced with such fear, the level of adrenaline rises, causing our heart to beat faster, muscles to tense and the body to sweat profusely. Scientific research shows that regular yoga practice can help significantly to reduce the level of this stress hormone.

 

For practical tips on how to incorporate yoga into your life, check out my next blog article, “9 Yoga Tips to Overcome Anxiety Disorder.” And of course, I do recommend also looking into the Art of Living Happiness Program!

 

One thing I mention in my next post is how beneficial it can be to lay in corpse pose at the end of your yoga session. Taking time for this asana gives your mind and body a few minutes of thorough relaxation. The technique is helpful in flushing out toxins, a primary cause of stress, from the system. I use the CD by Art of Living, in which Sri Sri Ravi Shankar guides listeners into Yoga Nidra in his soothing voice and prayerful chants. Click the button below to test it out for yourself!

 

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For more on Yoga and Anxiety, check out Part 2.

 

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: anxiety , natural lifestyle , yoga

3 Fall Yoga Poses

By Sejal Shah
October 2, 2015

Fall is the season of transformation. We can see this all around us in nature: the leaves fall, the air becomes crisp and a harvest arrives of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Ironically, it is only through change that we can stay grounded during this season of shifts. It is important that we change with the seasons, just as nature does, by adapting a positive outlook and seasonal daily habits, yoga practice and food choices.

Each season offers pearls of wisdom that can help our spiritual growth. Fall is a season for accepting change and the impermanence of things, balancing light and dark, and finally, letting go.

For each reflection, we look at some fall yoga practices that can help us embody this wisdom. There are links for practice details.

1. Accepting Change, Acknowledging Impermanence

“When you can appreciate beauty in every inch of the creation that is yoga.” – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Every autumn is a chance to revel in the beauty of the fall colors. The changing fall foliage never fails to surprise and delight us. Autumn is a season of transition, reminding us that change is the nature of life and change is beautiful. When we are open to change, it makes the transformation appear with even greater elegance and magnificence.

Essentially, this openness means being open to the surprises the Divine offers throughout our life; being open to change. It means trusting that the Divine takes care of us through all the transitions of life, and there will always be more blessed areas for us to explore and discover.

Autumn also reminds us of the impermanence of everything. The falling leaves and bare branches remind us that the nature of things is fleeting. When we contemplate fall’s changes, we grow more appreciative of all the beauty that surround us. Fall also brings back home to our consciousness the inevitable process of death; this awareness in turn challenges us to live every day to its fullest.

The breath of joy pranayama (breathing technique) teaches us to embrace changes happily and with a smile. It energizes our body and uplifts our spirit. The breathing technique kapalbhati (Shining Skull) helps to purify the entire system by releasing all the stored and unwanted toxins, whether chemical or emotional!

 

2. Balancing Dark and Light

“Being Equanimous is Yoga.” – Bhagavad Gita

On the autumn equinox, day and night are of equal length. This signals the need to balance light and darkness within us. Far too often, we fear the dark and adore only the light. As Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, “Samatvam Yoga Uchayate” which translates to “being equanimous is Yoga.” Being in balance and open to light as well as dark is yoga. Not only is light a welcome part of life, but we also gratefully acknowledge the darkness as a place of silent nurturing and slow and steady growth.

Vrikshasana (Tree Pose) and Veerabhadrasana (Warrior Pose) are wonderful poses to find this balance, accepting challenges and change with grace and dignity. The winds of change blow strong in the fall, but if we can learn to be steady like a tree and yet also sway with the wind, we will be resilient like a warrior. While the tree pose teaches us to find the right balance between steadiness and swaying, the warrior pose teaches us to be ready for anything.

3. Letting Go

Letting go of all effort and relaxing to experience the infinite. -Patanjali Yoga Sutras

The equal division of day and night also reflects two complementary sides to autumn, the invitation to relinquish and to harvest. Autumn is a season that invites us to release and surrender — to let go of what no longer serves us or what gets in the way of being present to the sacredness of each moment. Fall is a great time to practice getting out of the way and letting Spirit take charge of our lives.

As we know, the green color of the leaves is due to a pigment called chlorophyll. As the trees begin to draw energy inward for the coming winter hibernation, the chlorophyll in the leaves decreases, leaving the vibrant shades we witness in autumn, the tree’s true colors. As we watch leaves changing shades and then fluttering to the ground in fall, we are reminded that nature’s cycles are mirrored in our lives.

As autumn begins, it is a chance to reflect and surrender our masks and become more truly ourselves. As the leaves unfold their true colors, let us consider changing the things, habits, beliefs and attitudes that hide our true nature. This fall, let us surrender, let go and harvest our true nature of joy, peace and love. As Patanjali indicates in the yoga sutras – “Prayatna shaithilya anantasamaapatibhyam,” which means, “Let go of all the efforts and relax to experience the infinite.”

Paschimottasana (Seated forward bend) and shishusana (Child’s pose) are the perfect poses to teach surrender and letting go. During the transition to fall, we take on new rhythms so it’s important to take a moment to be internal, bow our heads and get close to the Mother Earth. The chattering mind starts slowing down all its mental gymnastics, and we become restful and peaceful. These two poses offer us that opportunity to go inward and to let go to Mother Nature to unfold our true nature.

Stay tuned for Part 2. If you’d like to connect about what yoga poses help you balance in fall or accept change, please comment below. Also, if you’d like to practice personally with Sejal, today’s blog author, she’ll be leading a yoga retreat in Boone, NC soon. Beginners and advanced yogis alike are welcome. For more online tips about beginning a yoga practice, please check out her ebook “14 Tips for Beginning Yoga“.

 

weight loss

 

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.

 

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TAGS: autumn , fall , yoga , yoga practice

Yoga’s Mindful Approach to Weight Management

By Sejal Shah
August 21, 2015

person-woman-summer-girl

In today’s culture of stresses and excesses, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can be a daunting task. It requires a variety of deliberate life adjustments, and experimentally combining separate-but-intertwining skill sets in five key areas: lifestyle, nutrition, fitness, psychology and spirituality.

Lasting Change
Instant fixes and miracle cures will not create lasting and healthy change. It is essential to be willing to implement simple persistent lifestyle habits and work through self-harming patterns. You must be ready to overcome emotional or psychological problems linked with food, and let go of nutritional and fitness  misconceptions. Weight issues do not happen all at once, and overcoming them will not happen all at once. Weight and food issues are complex, involving the body, the mind and the spirit. Therefore the solution must be holistic, integrating all of these aspects.

Spirituality (Spirit) & Mind
Spirituality will give you a broader outlook on life. With this improved perspective you are not carried away so easily by quick fixes or short term temptations and will tend to make choices which have sustainable long term impacts. When we are connected to our meaningful life purpose, we are more likely to make conscious food and life style decisions. Over time your connection will build a natural self-discipline which will bring you enormous and real freedom. This freedom will empower you to let go of the instant-gratification of unhealthy foods and look forward to long-term benefit of health. By empowering yourself to be in charge of your health and your life instead of depending upon anybody else you will see health as your real wealth and your body as a divine instrument to live a meaningful life. Life becomes a celebration.

Yoga (Body)
Yoga, which literally means the union of the body, mind and soul, is a spiritual route to weight loss – that is why Yoga is such an effective way to tackle this complex issue. Yoga is certainly a means to that end, but not exactly in the way one would expect. Yoga will help you develop a leaner, more supple body not by emphasizing a restricted food intake and targeted muscle-building, but by nurturing an attitude adjustment that paves the way for long-term change. Regular practice of all 8 limbs of Yoga establishes physical and mental poise in a natural, gradual, lasting and organic way. With this poise, you will see life in a much more expansive perspective and you are naturally equipped to make far better choices and handle any situation in much more effective way.

The physical aspects of yoga have become more popular worldwide, and people do consider yoga as another means of physical fitness, but yoga as a way of life offers a holistic package for total personal transformation. More than a workout, yoga is work within! It brings harmony between our body, mind and spirit so that all three function in unison. Coupled with its sister science – Ayurveda, an ancient healing method from India, the practice of yoga becomes easier and goes even much deeper. Combining Ayurveda and Yoga offers a complete system of well-being for body, mind and consciousness.

When practiced regularly and in disciplined way, yoga will not only improve your physical health but also mental and emotional health. Practicing yoga changes the way you approach life, your body, and eating. Yoga shows you how to honor and appreciate your body for all of the amazing things that it can do for you and points you in the direction of wanting to fill your body with the best possible fuel rather than processed junk food. And changing your mind or the way you look to your body and the foods you feed it will be a much more effective weight-loss tool than mindlessly following any diet fads.

Typical weight-loss programs address the symptom (excess fat) and ignore the cause, which is essentially an imbalance caused by or manifested as any range of emotional problems, bad life style habits and poor nutrition. Unlike going to the gym, calorie burn is not top of mind for a yogi. Yes, aerobic exercise burns calories and can help you lose weight. But will it change you internally, thereby causing a lasting weight loss? The calorie calculated weight loss program does ultimately create a load on the system and eventually you will get bored and stressed by constantly remaining on your toes to watch the calories!

Yoga fosters a body awareness and discipline, which is something that goes deeper than calorie burn. Yoga cleanses and purifies your body from the inside and as an effect you will naturally want to put healthier and nourishing things in the body. Over a period of time, your taste buds change, and so will your cravings and aversions. Thus it can lead to healthier eating, mindful living, and self-care. Yoga can make you fall in love with healthy living. All of these things can lead to successful and lasting weight loss. While an hour spent at the gym exerts pressure on the body, yoga helps ease the resulting stress and helps tackle emotions like anger and frustration which often are often the cause of weight gain tendencies. Through a sustained yoga practice, your body will change, your health and metabolism will improve, and your peace of mind and self-discipline will return. A balanced mind and self-discipline are the key components for solving any kind of life problems, sustainable weight-loss is just one of them.

Are you ready for an experiment for 3 weeks?
Next time your favorite chips are in front of you and you are so tempted to eat the whole bag, just take a few deep breaths and then ask three questions:

  • Is eating this pack of chips going to make my life easy or difficult?
  • What will happen at the most if I don’t eat the pack?
  • What is better or healthier option than eating the pack of chips?
 

If you, like so many of us, have tried many quick fix solutions and you are feeling frustrated, don’t give up.  I am sharing this wisdom with the intention that it will help you to regain your hope and confidence and you will be ready to give yet another try.

Stay tuned, soon I will be sharing much more interesting tips and eye-opening facts to help you overcome your problem. Believe me, every problem is an opportunity and blessing in disguise and have faith that you are never given any problem which you don’t have the capacity to handle and solve.

Much love and peace.

 

If you’d like to learn more about a holistic approach to weight-loss that combines Ayurveda & yoga, check out our ebook on Weight-Loss tips from Ayurveda.

 

weight loss

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.

 

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TAGS: weight-loss , yoga

12 Tips to Improve Your Yoga Practice

By Sejal Shah
June 23, 2015

Yoga practice is a continual evolution. While it takes just a few classes to learn some asanas, or postures, over years you can gradually improve your yoga practice. Here are some tips to help improve your evolving practice.

 

1. Start with gentle warm ups. Once your body is sufficiently warmed up, start with asanas. Move slowly, with fluid motion and without straining yourself. Initial muscle aches are a good sign, they mean that your body is changing. However, find your limits and the right balance between effort and ease. It is important to not overexert yourself and burn out on the activity. Allow your body to speak – if you listen it will tell you the difference between pain and a good stretch.

 

2. Have patience. It takes time to improve flexibility, build strength and to correct imbalances and misalignments.

 

3. Pay more importance to the correctness of asanas, rather than whether you can touch your toes. For example, it is important to bend less but correctly than to bend more but incorrectly.

 

4. Do asanas gracefully like a slow rhythmic, sequential dance.

 

5. When in a pose, make effort without struggling. Notice your breath as well as your facial expression as they will both change when you are pushing yourself beyond your limit.

 

6. When you have learned a few basic asanas properly, do their variations and continue to build on that education by learning more asanas. This will help improve the quality of your asanas and your overall practice.

Accepting imperfection is key

7. The more the merrier – Practice asanas with another yoga student and correct each other or practice in front of a mirror. While improving is important, don’t get stuck in a perfectionist mindset – though you want to be perfect, accepting imperfection is key.

 

8. Practice asanas with awareness, inwardness and with a feeling of honoring your body. This will bring an increased grace and beauty to your asanas regardless of your level of flexibility. Pay attention to what you are doing with your body and mind and what you are feeling in your body and mind.

 

9. Coordinate your asanas with your breath – this will increase your awareness and improve your yoga practice. Breathe slowly and deeply with your abdomen, when inhaling, let the abdomen effortlessly push out; when exhaling, let it return gently. Let your awareness and your breathing become a habit and let the breath heal you.

 

10. Do as much as your body allows you to do. Make a gentle effort to go slightly beyond your limits but do not force yourself into a position. Don’t compare yourself with others and stay with your own experience.

 

11. You may be learning certain things that may be very new to you. Keeping an open mind during the classes or self-practice will broaden and enhance your experience.

 

12. Relax for some time after you finish your asanas.

 

Observing students for many years, I’ve compiled a list of 14 tips for beginning yoga practice. Learn more here: 14 Tips to Start Your Yoga Practice. Happy Practicing!

 

beginning-yoga-ebook

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: beginning yoga , yoga , yoga practice , yoga retreat
beginning-yoga

5 Common Mistakes When Beginning Yoga

By Sejal Shah
June 2, 2015

There is no doubt that practicing yoga is a great idea—not only for your physical body but also for your mental health and overall vitality.

However, as beginners to this ancient yet currently trendy practice, one tends to make some major mistakes. The key to achieving flexibility, strength, and eventually coming into the “state of yoga” is consistency, practice, and patience.

 

Beginning Yoga: Common Mistakes to Avoid

 

1. Comparing yourself with the person on the next mat

 

One of the most effective ways to injure yourself in yoga class is to look at what the person on the next mat is doing and try to match their stretch or reach. We all have different body types and shapes, which vary because of genetics, age, injuries in the past, the food we eat, and so on. The person on the other mat might be a former ballerina, might have been practicing yoga for years, or is more flexible by birth. But instead of focusing on your own experience and your own body, if you begin to compare and push your body where its not ready to go yet, you will no doubt make this huge mistake.

 

2. Comparing your body to how it was twenty years ago, four years ago, or even during the last class

Remember yourself when you were six years old? You used to do cartwheel on the grass, perform a full wheel pose effortlessly, or just sit in the full lotus pose for an hour! Yes, that was when you were a child, when your body was not exposed to stress and negative emotions. It was before you sat on desks for hours or gave birth. Maybe you were able to do a certain pose in last week’s class but aren’t able to today. The important issue is not to compare yourself or your body strength and flexibility to times gone by. Say to yourself, “At this moment, this is where I am—with this breath and this body”.

 

3. Pushing your body too hard without awareness

 

A common mistake beginners make is when they think “yoga will be a piece of cake. I have been doing exercise / aerobics / playing tennis / horse riding (or any other physical activity) for years. This will be no problem for me”. Although some yoga poses might seem relatively easy and simple from the outside, they work deeper muscles tissues and have to be practiced with awareness and care. Beginners especially want to push themselves at the outset, driven mostly by pride and the need to prove themselves fit. Unfortunately, this leads to soreness the next day. Worse is pushing the body to levels its not yet ready to go to and getting injured. So just carefully listen to the instructions of the teacher and also to your own body and do not force yourself.

Listen to your own body and do not force yourself.

4. Inconsistency in your practice

Usually, one feels so open and relaxed after a yoga class that they can’t wait to tell all their friends about it and come right back the next day. Yet, eventually and inevitably, daily life comes into play and we get distracted by work, family responsibilities, social life, and errands and somehow practicing yoga falls to the bottom of our to-do list. A few days pass and then a few weeks and when we finally do go back to class, we are back to square one. A consistent and steady practice—ideally twice or thrice a week in the beginning—helps the body to gradually open up and move further into the poses.

 

5. Getting impatient with your body, falling into despair, and eventually quitting

After practicing yoga for a while—perhaps a few weeks, a few months, or even years—we become frustrated. Questions like “why isn’t my body able to perform certain asanas?” and “why can’t I touch my toes yet?” crop up. Eventually, we fall prey to doubt and begin pondering.”Perhaps yoga is not for me”. Yet, the beauty and grace of yoga is very subtle and works on many different levels. When in doubt over the effectiveness of yoga, ask yourself how different is the state of your mind now compared to earlier? Aren’t you more “flexible” in the mind when it comes to stressful situations? Think about how yoga has helped you relax and breathe better and made you more aware of your own body and how it functions?

If you could relate to any of these pointers, you now know what you were probably doing wrong. So, avoid making these mistakes the next time you roll out your yoga mat and observe the difference in your practice!

 

Observing students for many years, I’ve compiled a list of 14 tips for beginning yoga practice. Learn more here: 14 Tips to Start Your Yoga Practice. Happy Practicing!

 

beginning-yoga-ebook

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: beginning yoga , yoga