With the gyms closed and group training on hold, many of us are turning to running and cycling to support our health and wellbeing during lockdown. No matter what your experience level or where you are starting from, you will definitely feel the benefits of complimenting your chosen sport with a yoga practice, here are 5 reasons why!
From my experience of developing my home practice as a teacher trainee I would say that it can feel quite challenging when you're not sure where to start and what to do. Plus its easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself to advance your asana practice to meet a perceived expectation that you might be setting yourself or holding onto subconsciously and especially within a timeframe which is in line with when the course ends.
Yoga is about balancing effort and ease, so there should be no straining to reach your toes. One of the beautiful things I feel that we often forget about with the yoga practice, is that it is one of those very unique and rare times in the day where we don’t need to achieve anything at all! Its an opportunity to let go of our ego and meet ourselves ‘where we are’ not ‘where we would like to be’.
Sometimes when we meditate we feel the need to push away thoughts that arise and this year in particular, I know many people have felt this sense of disturbance when taking their seat and literally spend the whole time being caught up in the thinking mind. However we know that meditation and yoga is not about the complete absence of thought but more about the process of finding a place of stillness where the thoughts are still there but they do not concern or require our full attention.
These two books can really help you to access and interpret the Yoga Sutras with fresh eyes. If you can link relevant examples from your own life experience then you are more likely to be able to digest, remember and apply them. They can act as fun and enjoyable introductions to the classical Philosophy of Yoga. Allowing you to capture a little of your own yogic insight which may ignite the beginning of a journey of self-study...
For some of us, Savasana is the best part of class. A welcome surrender, an invaluable opportunity to release and rest, a moment of complete suspension as we happily absorb all of the positive energy and movement from our practice... For others however, having ‘nothing to do, nowhere to be’ can become an experience of inner conflict and provokes a deep feeling of discomfort. Given the opportunity it would be part of the class which some might prefer to skip, especially during lockdown!