By Diana Shea
There are two key guidelines for yoga practice that I like to share with my students. The first is to learn how to avoid injury through proper alignment, which I discussed in last month’s post, ‘Guidelines for Yoga Practice: #1 Avoid Injury‘. The second guideline is to find CONTENTMENT in each pose. In my experience, figuring out how to enjoy each pose is the best strategy to moderate your practice for your own level of flexibility, stamina and strength. How is this done? Follow these two simple suggestions to bring comfort and ease to your practice.
1. LET YOUR BREATH BE YOUR GUIDE
You should be able to breathe comfortably when practicing yoga. Avoid holding your breath, which sometimes results from too much effort or gripping in the muscles. Instead, go to your edge in a pose and then ease off of it so that you can hold the pose comfortably for three breaths or more. Adjusting how deeply you move in to a pose will help you find that sweet spot where your body is doing the intended work in the pose without constricting the breath.
2. USE MODIFICATIONS
Sometimes during yoga practice, we move our body in ways that are unfamiliar. If we experience sensations that become too strong or painful, our body is telling us that something is not quite right. Use props or other variations, as instructed by a qualified teacher, in order to experience the pose in a way that creates comfort and ease. Speak up in class if you need help. You’ll be glad you did!
What guidelines do you observe during your practice? Please comment below, we’d love to hear what works best for you!