With proper intention and an heathly attitude of self responsibility you can practice safely while enjoy in the fruits of the ultimate self care practice – yoga. The benefits of a regular yoga regime are more energy, calm nervous system, improved sleeping patterns, more positive outlook in life, less illness, a flexible strong body and steadfast focused mind and the list goes on!!
- Commit to a regular practice of at least three days a week building up to 5-6 days a week- even 15 minutes counts as one practice session.
- Listen to what your body and breath are telling you and be in the moment- yoga is meditation in motion- a work in not a work out.
- Challenge yourself but don’t strain yourself. If you are sore the next day after practice, check in- did you push too hard and too far or are waking up your intrinsic muscles .Working at your edge is rewarding whereas straining yourself leads to pain and suffering – find the intersection between of focus and ease in your practice.
- Every bodies body is different so avoid comparing yourself to others and judging yourself harshly. If you find yourself looking around and judging yourself and comparing yourself to others, bring your attention back to your breath and the sensations of your own body.
Proper self responsibility: ( responsibility refers to your ability to respond!) 1. Observe rest days if you practice six days a week- rest days are important for recovery. Never practice when you have your period or at least skip the back bends and up side down poses or do a restorative menstrual practice using props and relaxing breathing techniques .
- Hydrating yourself is essential. Half cup of hot water or fruit juice half an hour before practice is good. Avoid water during the practice because it is too cooling and your energy turns to digestion- or take a very little sip if you absolutely must. Coconut water is the very best post yoga drink because it replaces lost electrolytes – but water is very good too-both flush out the toxins released by the action of the practice.
- Eat life -enhancing, energy giving, delicious natural foods that rejuvenate you and avoid processed foods that often make you sleepy, mentally unfocused, fat and even sick.Avoid eating a heavy meal at night, especially if you practice early in the morning and if possible do not eat anything a few hours before practice.
- Rest up and take time to engaging in non-doing – simply being quiet and still. As you do more yoga you increase your sensitivity and intuition. Reducing external stimulation such as TV, computer games, long sessions talking non-stop in cafés and replacing such activities with nature walks in a beach, writing a journal or poetry and meditating or listening to music can be uplifting and induce a state of happiness and contentment.
5.Cultivate healthy sleep patterns by avoiding caffeine after 4pm, refraining from using lap tops and other devices an hour or two before bed and being in bed before 10pm ( after which you get a second wind and become restless-an Ayurvedic Principle).