Yoga is a way of life.
It is a means of moving, breathing, focussing, expanding, contracting, evolving and interacting with the ever-changing world within and around us – it is always a matter of balance and moving, not only in the asana practice.
Some of the core issues of our lifes are balance, personal growth and development, realizing and applying freedom, awareness and love. This is something we can find in and train with the methods of yoga: contemplating and applying inner and outer ethics, asana, breathing, awareness training and meditation.
Balance is a matter of dancing between strict discipline and being open and joyful in the practice and in our life. If we force too much, we become stubborn and narrow-minded, if we just “go with the flow”, we avoid confrontation and therefore development. Our freedom lies within ourselves. If we feel grounded in ourselves and connected to our environment at the same time without being distracted by outwardly circumstances, we are not determinated. We are highly aware, sensible and in connection, but we do not engage in our own or collectiveemotional and mind drama any more.
Practicing yoga, personal growth and development is initiated. It increases your sensitivity, health and awareness. You start to see things more clearly, maybe take more care for your physical health and nurtition. We become aware of what we feel, what is happening around us and how we can grow into living our deepest potential. Awareness helps us also to deal better with all our feelings and how to communicate them, may it be fear, anger, joy, shame, attachment or grief. Practicing yoga or meditation or mindfulness does not mean to be free from all “negative” feelings – but to have the clarity and awareness to deal with all emotions and circumstances and find the power to transformation this into learning and development.
For many practicioners, a keen truth and meaning spontaneously arises as insight into the vast interconnected nature of all things. Knowing this, compassion, beauty and love expresses itself in the yoga practice and also in your every day life. – The Art of Vinyasa by Richard Freeman & Mary Taylor
Praticing along with this, every class starts with a bodyscan to get into your body with full awareness and find your middle axis. We continue with Surya Namaskar and sometimes challenging, sometimes relaxing poses in a deep breathing rhythm, the asana practice becomes a meditation in motion. Every class closes with Shavasana and a short meditation to integrate and to witness stillness, thoughts, emotions and our body. In more advanced classes also a pranayama section is involved.
Effects of yoga and breathing you might immediatly feel:
mental and physical balance: mental relaxation, release of thightness in the shoulder and neck area, pain in the lower back, headache and stress symptoms. Emotional and mental thightness can be solved by setting an intention for the yoga class.
regeneration and body awareness: Straining your body, you need regular mindful phases of regeneration.
power and body awareness: Sitting a lot in your job, you will feel much better and awake after a yoga practice consisting of strenghtening, stretching and conscious breathing.
if you are a bodyworker, coach or another field of counseling, it is absolutly important and neccessary to come back to your own body consciously, feel your own needs and nourish with stillness. Yoga is a perfect tool for this kind of selfmade supervision!
Every practice is a little step in the direction of more flexibility, mindfulness, body-awareness and freedom at all levels.