Yoga Provides Benefits for Recovery, Coping, & Health
- Garbage Rules will prod you to face your self-defeating thinking that’s keeping you addicted.
- Ego will help you to understand and overcome the underlying problem in your addiction.
6 LEVELS OF YOGA
- Learn the poses.
- Learn to breathe with the poses.
- Learn to focus on breathing instead of the poses.
- Learn to be just conscious of breathing.
- Learn to be just conscious.
- Experience self as the host for consciousness.
- For step by step information on an actual yoga class, see Yoga for Coping, Recovery, Relaxation, & Health.
- You can do yoga as an exercise; however, you are missing most of the benefits of yoga if you are using it as just an aerobic or stretching exercise.
Yoga Principles & General Class Advice
“Sacrifice proper posing for proper alignment.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
- Yoga is the perfect preparation for meditation.
- Yoga has the benefits of increasing balance, flexibility, and openness. These benefits are good for your body, mind, and relationships.
- Yoga is about balance; therefore, be sure and do the same poses on both sides and in both directions whenever possible.
- Yoga develops from posing, to breathing, to moving meditation.
- Yoga develops from consciousness of poses to consciousness of breathing, to consciousness of meditating.
- Yoga practice is a practice of approximation to ideal poses. Yes, some people can perform some of the poses in an ideal manner. However, the goal is to increase your balance, flexibility, and openness, and that is best done by approximating the ideal poses without any expectation of ever reaching them.
- Breathe in and out your nose unless it is a specific open-mouthed breathing exercise.
- Breathe in on an upward movement and breathe out in a downward movement.
- Perform poses relying on Energy, not thinking.
- Trying to balance using your thinking will keep you unbalanced.
- Find a fixed point to stare at to help with your balance. Dancers also do this and especially when spinning.
- Once you are comfortable with the basic poses then start to focus on your breath instead of your body.
- Move with your breath once you are comfortable with poses (asanas).
- Follow the ideal pose or form. Do not try to stretch lower or higher to appear to be better at yoga. In other words, your position matters only in relation to the pose and not in relation to perceived flexibility.
- You can make any class more challenging by adding isometrics to your poses. By pushing and pulling in opposite directions you not only strengthen your muscles, but you also align the left and right hemispheres of your brain.
- Stop trying to do poses and just do them.
- Stop trying to think poses and just do them.
- Stop trying to know poses and just do them.
- Stop letting your mind get in the way of poses.
- Stop trying to control or change poor poses into better poses.
- Learn to switch to letting the pose be done for you: nondoing.
- Switch from thinking to posing.
- Enjoy your poses.
- When in a pose like shoulder-stand that puts your neck in a vulnerable position, only look at the ceiling and never around the room.
- Strain in a pose is a sign that you need to open up there; therefore, continue stretching that area.
- Pain in a pose is a sign that you need to back off until you open up more. Find poses that you can do for that area of your body to open it up more.
- Move your mind inside of stressful areas of your body and then beath in and out of those locations. This will provide healing energy and also keep your mind from making problems.
- Relaxing in star pose while lying down for Savasana, instead of corpse pose, can teach you to relax under strain and stress.
- Fall into the strain, rest and relax in the strain, and wait upon Energy to relieve it over time and practice.
- You will not fix the strain. Your body will not fix the strain. Your mind will not fix the strain. Being under Energy will relive the strain and bring new flexibility and openness over time.
- When in a pose that is causing discomfort, focus on places in your body that are calm, peaceful, or relaxed. When your mind returns to the discomfort, redirect your mind to a comfortable location in your body.
Miscellaneous Yoga Information
“Stretch in the right posture, not the right pose.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
- Wear loose-fitting clothing for yoga classes; however, some recommend elastic or stretch clothing such as that worn by dancers due to its support and added protection.
- Yoga is traditionally done in bare feet; however, there are yoga socks and toe shoes that can work if you need foot covering or support. Normal socks and stockings are never recommended because they increase slipping and slipping can be dangerous.
- Yoga blocks, straps, and props are both recommended and not recommended. The positives are props help you get into poses. The negatives are props can be used as a crutch and limit stretching. A middle approach is best if you intend to experiment with props: use to find poses but not to make poses easier or too easy.
- Never eat before a yoga class. An empty stomach is best and that means not eating 2–3 hours before class. The minimum is 1/2 hour before class.
- Bring a reusable water bottle for sipping water during class.
- Different teachers and schools of yoga teach the same poses in different ways. Experiment and use the method that is best suited for your practice and for increasing your balance, openness, and stretching. Be willing to explore other ways to find out what works best for you. But remember, this can change in the future.
- Every yoga teacher should be allowed to teach their class their way because then that teacher will teach their best class.
- Know the culture of your yoga class. Some accept and even applaud belching and the release of gases but most do not. If your yoga is meditative, then your yoga will relax your digestive functions leading to releases. Also, some yoga poses encourage the release of gases and can be named accordingly, for example, Pavanamuktasana or wind-relieving pose.
- Bring a handkerchief and blow your nose often. Sweating releases toxins from your body and so does nasal-mucus drainage. Sniffling is also considered impolite in many cultures.
- Popping noises indicate a joint is being stretched. Popping noises from poses are fine, but you should not try to cause, force, or induce popping noises because that might lead to physical problems from exaggerated stretching.
- Be aware of the limits of your own body. Do not try to do a pose that will harm your body. Be responsible for protecting your body even if an instructor wants you to do something that will harm your body. It is your practice. Focus on increasing your body’s balance, flexibility, and openness within the range of your practice, not within the range of ideal poses, perfect poses, other students, or class instructions.
- Choose to go deeper into your poses as your skill develops. This is an endless process.
- Eventually, you can choose to make your practice a yoga dance by adding extra movements purely for their beauty, expressiveness, and grace.
- There are differing opinions on how long to hold stretches and on how many repetitions of an exercise to do. Apparently, longer times for holding poses are required as you age. Perhaps you can tune into your body and learn its limits as a way to develop your own times and numbers. Experiment and test your results.
- In the USA, most yoga classes define themselves as either Vinyāsa or Hatha style yoga. Vinyāsa is flow yoga, movement yoga, or non-stationary yoga. Hatha yoga is stationary, fixed, or stretch-focused yoga. In this way, Vinyāsa (moving through poses) and Hatha (holding poses) are opposite styles. Both have validity and usefulness. You have the right to prefer one over the other. Other countries likely use these same terms in different ways. For example, Hatha can also be used to indicate beginner’s level yoga classes.
Breathing Instructions to Experiment With
- Experiment with different ways of reminding students to breathe.
- The following list encourages conscious breathing.
Be aware of your: alert breath, alive breath, attentive breath, awake breath, aware breath, aware breathing, breathe your breath, conscious breath, conscious breathing, felt breath, focused breath, meditative breath, mindful breath, observed breathing.
FOB: Flexibility, Openness, Balance
FOB is an acronym pronounced “fob” that stands for the three main benefits of doing yoga.
“Focus your yoga practice on right alignment and posture, not on perfect poses.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
No Strain, No Gain
- In weightlifting, the saying is, “No pain, no gain,” because you have to tear your muscles to make them larger.
- In yoga, the saying is, “No strain, no gain,” because you have to stretch to open up more.
- The idea is to go to your limit and then go around 3% further to increase your flexibility, openness, and balance (FOB).
- You are the only one in your body so it’s up to you to not to go too far and to take it easy on days when that is what you need.
“Use poses to increase flexibility, openness, and balance, not for poses.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
- Resource for Health Questions: External Link
- Resource for Yoga Poses: External Link
- Resource for Yoga Poses for Back Pain: External Link
- Resource for Yoga Poses for Constipation: External Link
- 5 Keys to Right Meditation
- 5 Step Solution to Self-Esteem
- Attitude Control & Attitude Power
- Choose Higher when Tempted by Lower
- Focus on 3 Truths for Right Identity
- J. Krishnamurti: List of External Links
- Meditation Simplified
- Practice Right Meditation
- Serenity Prayer
- Temptation: A Strategy to Overcome
- Three Kinds of Meditation
- Yoga for Coping, Recovery, Relaxation, & Health