Good words on arm balances.
I call this blog “yoga schmoga” because through my teachings and learning I have discovered common, misled beliefs often accompany the idea of “yoga”. It is my goal to debunk those myths and bring a clarity to anybody that has interest that Yoga. is. for. everybody.
Have you ever thought any of these things in regards to yoga?
"yoga is for flexible people"
"I’m not patient enough to practice"
"I can’t focus that long"
"I’m not strong enough for Yoga"
"Yoga isn’t a real workout"
"Yoga is for skinny people"
"You’re worshiping multiple gods practicing yoga and I don’t believe in that.. "
"Yoga studios are just out to get your money"
"I’m too tired"
"There are too many different types- I don’t know which one is best for me."
I have a rebuttal to all of these. (surprise, surprise )
1. “Yoga is for flexible people.”False!Yoga helps create flexibility and astonishing range of motion at ANY age.
2. “I’m not patient enough to practice.” Yoga can help with that! When I practice I find I have so much more patience with people and myself throughout the day.
3. “I can’t focus that long.” Yoga is actually proven to increase mental stability, clarity and sustained focus.
4. “I’m not strong enough for yoga.” Try plank pose, arm balances and boat pose to build strength in your arms and core. Try locust & cobra to build strength in your spine. Try Warrior postures and Goddess pose to build strength in your legs. When you feel strong enough- add on.
5. “Yoga isn’t a real workout.” Try. Then see if you ever have this thought again.
6. “Yoga is for skinny people” Yoga can aid in weight loss and digestive support- the more you practice you just may start noticing that you are also one of those “skinny” people.
7. Yoga & religion- You can dedicate your practice to whatever/whomever you want. Don’t want to thank the deities? Fine! Choose something else to dedicate your practice to- i.e. yourself, patience, stability, God, strength, trees, etc. That is one of the most beautiful things about yoga- It’s your practice. It’s your dedication.
8. “Yoga studios are out to get your money” This is tricky because I have been to a couple that are. However, I have also been to a great many that aren’t where you’re being taught by trained professionals that know how & want to sculpt you into a dedicated yoga student. If you get a bad vibe from a studio- don’t put your money into it. simple.
9. “I’m too tired” … then do some energizing postures. Or strike a couple poses that are relaxing before going to bed.
10. “There are too many different types” This is my favorite! YES there are many different types of yoga practices. With every different stye of practice comes a new challenge. Don’t like one of them? Don’t do it. Like a couple of different styles? COMBINE! Play with your practice. You will discover so many things that you had no idea your body was capable of.
While I was out and about on the vast part of cyberspace we call internet I googled “Yoga Schmoga” to see if anybody has similar ideas to me. Here is what I found:
You may find some of her tidbits on yoga interesting.
- I want to meet Meghan Currie so she can teach me her ways.
I have a miniature Yoga Library that I treasure. It’s nothing extraordinary but there a few books that I have that have opened my eyes to new practices and new philosophies. I find books to be timeless and useful for creating a solid practice and to continue learning and growing as a yogi/ni.
continue learning. I believe there is a point as adults that we close off to the idea of learning. Maybe there is a point that we subconsciously believe that we know it all and have experienced it all. I find that when I open up a book all of that idea of being “all-knowing” becomes false and I’m thrown into this world of new ideas, new beliefs and new possibilities.
My favorite first and foremost:
This book is Phenomenal for people wanting to start a practice, or to challenge themselves to read a section of this book every day for one year. (Yes, there are 365 luminaries to read!) I have found it helpful to read right before a practice so I have something to contemplate and to help me focus throughout my postures. There are luminaries by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison about everything from God, love and patience to simple posture enlightenment.
this book is one of my favorite “yoga diet” books. It teachs of Doshas- meaning our bodily humors or “body types” and what to eat to live at our fullest potential. It also has great illustrations for postures specific to each dosha to better your body while pairing it with your daily diet.
I’m a big fan of pictures. This book gives step by step yoga routines with beautiful pictures of each posture. ALSO THE BEST PART ABOUT THIS BOOK: it divides yoga routines up by topics or goals. For example: Have a hangover? There is a sequence laid out for that. What to try partner yoga? There is a sequence for that! Want to increase your memorization abilities? YES THERE IS A SEQUENCE FOR THAT. The routines also vary with difficulty levels so there is something for everyone in this book.
That’s all the books I’m going to advertise right now- many more to come in future posts.
*Que LeVar Burton*
"But don’t take my word for it!"
If you are near a library I highly recommend you check these out- they can also all be previewed/ bought on Amazon.com and I believe all three are available on Kindle.
awesome/intense morning practice
Creatures of Habit. It seems that the older I get the more I realize how easy it is to fall into a pattern or a routine in daily life. I fall into a pattern of getting up at the same time every day regardless of the fact that it might be a Saturday and I fortunately don’t have to work on Saturdays. Does that mean sleeping in for me? NO. It means I’m bright-eyed and bushy tailed at 5:00AM ready to start the day and trying to force myself to stay in bed for just a little bit longer. But nonono- pattern sets in and I’m up.
I start my days off with a hot lemon water. Then a fiber drink. Followed by a minimum of 30 minutes of yoga. Shower. Protein shake or egg. Fix hair. Choose outfit. Out the door. Every day. come home. pet kitty. kiss fiance. pet kitty. workout?. eat dinner. pet kitty. watch netflix/ do logic puzzles. fall asleep. lather.rinse.repeat. Boring. BORING. BORING!
While yes, it is good to have a routine it is also good to throw a little “something different” into the mix of life every now and then.
It’s good to go out with friends. It’s good to stay up too late playing board games with your fiance. It’s good to have a glass of wine on a work night (GASP!). It’s good to try a new fitness class. It’s good to try a new restaurant or bar. CHANGE IS GOOD.
Not only is change good in daily life, it’s so important in your yoga practice.
Hatha/ Bikram: 26 postures same every time. This is a great practice- while it is a routine it helps train your body to recognize the movements. Helps pair movement with breath. Heavy on Direction. Not so creative. Great for building specific muscle & flexibility. Not good for those that don’t like routine. (Don’t tell- Sometimes I throw in a random posture just to spite the routine of it)
Even in my Vinyasa sequences that I teach or practice on my own sometimes I notice that I slip into a bit of a habit. Starting in Child’s pose to warm up the spine then flowing to the six movements of the spine. Then I go to Downward Dog transitioning to various Warrior sequences. I end a standing sequence with balance postures then it’s down on the floor for closing stretches and ab work.
What if I changed this? What if I dare start warming up the spine with standing breath work and movements then working my way down to the floor and close standing?!
My point is this: Don’t get stuck in a rut. Don’t be afraid to try new postures or new sequences in your practice. You have no idea what your body is capable of!
Try this: Find a book or a blog or a website about yoga. Find a posture that you’ve never tried before. Incorporate this into a sequence. Allow yourself to be creative with your yoga! Find out what your body can do and maybe can’t do and work to achieve that posture! Mixing it up is good. good. good.