I'm writing this to encourage everyone who hasn't tried Yin yoga to try it!
Benefits of a Yin yoga practice:
-Balances and improves the flow of prana or chi
Reduces the insane amount of stress and anxiety
-Improves joint mobility and releases fascia
-Calms the body and mind
Yin yoga is a floor practice, with little to no standing postures. The Yin postures are held longer to gently stretch connective tissues. Yin yoga teaches relaxing of the muscles around the connective in order to stimulate and remove blockages in the body internal organs and system. In hatha yoga class postures involve lengthening the spine, stretching, and engaging muscles. Whereas Yin yoga the muscles are relaxed so the body can completely release.
Yin yoga teaches you the art of stillness. In stillness is where you learn to observe the physical sensations of the body and your emotional connection to the sensation, without the story. This practice gives you time and space, allowing emotions, thoughts, and feelings to surface and flow through you. It requires tons of energy from your body to keep thing suppressed yin helps you release physical and emotional tension in your body.
I encourage you to try out this amazing practice with me! I teach a Yin yoga class every Thursday from 9:00am-10:00am at Temple Yoga Wellness. I teach a monthly Yin & Restorative Class the Last Friday of the month 6:30pm-8:00pm at Temple Yoga Wellness Center. Temple Yoga Wellness Center is located at 318 N. 2nd St. Temple, Tx.
What is Hatha Yoga or What is Vinyasa yoga? I want to spend some time explaining the differences and similarity between the two classes. Watch the video that goes with this post!
Hatha Yoga is an ancient practice. Hatha is a lineage of yoga that began around 800 CE and is a style most practiced today. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika was written by Swatmarma in the mid-1300s and is the classical manual of Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga teaches a six-limbed practice.
Hatha yoga is my favorite style of yoga because I have to explore my breath and the sensations of my body in the shapes in creating.
Unlike Hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga is not a lineage of yoga. Vinyasa means order or placement. In Vinyasa you are continually moving or transitioning from pose to pose. Whereas hatha yoga you hold postures. The transitions are very strong, heating and smooth. Vinyasa yoga for the most part honer the sequencing principles of hatha yoga through more transition is incorporated.
Vinyasa yoga you are constantly moving. I believe students should have a strong hatha yoga background to safely, and effectively transition through the postures.
Both Hatha and Vinyasa yoga are similar because you will more than likely still be doing the same postures. Hatha yoga is more relaxing while Vinyasa yoga is more energizing. Both practices help with flexibility, strength, and focus on bring your body towards balances.
Which style of yoga do you enjoy the most and why? Comment below to share!
Today I want to talk to you about yoga and specifically how to stay motivated to practice yoga. I will be sharing my 5 tips that will help you stay on track. We all know how much better our body feels after we practice yoga. Starting a regular practice can be difficult and if we get off track with our practice it can be difficult sometimes to come back even for me! Check out my YouTube Video that goes with this post below.
1) Find Your Why
Ask yourself why are you choosing to practice yoga? Let your why statement is more than"I want to lose weight", " I want to be more flexible/strong" or I want to learn headstand" Think deeper than this, For example, ask yourself what part of your yoga practice makes you feel good? What area of your body feels good after you practice? Chose a statement that is going to motivate you to practice. I don't practice to lose weight. I practice for my health. I know that when I practice yoga, my physical body feels more mobile and less stiff. I feel focused, energized, and more balanced. This is what motivates me. Figure out what motivates you to practice and why you want to step on your mat.
2) Set Mini-Goals/Start Slow
If you're just starting to attend public class or start a personal practice because you want to be "flexibility". You can not just develop strength or flexibility overnight you have to continue to practice. Start by setting a small goal, for example, "I will practice yoga 3 days out of the week and focus on postures that help with flexibility" or "On Thursday's I will practice a sequence that slowly helps me master headstand". Setting mini-goals will help you stay motivated to practice so you can receive wins along the way. You will see more progress and be excited about your wins.
3) Find a yoga practice or teacher that you enjoy.
Try the different yoga practices like Hatha, Hatha Flow, Yin, Restorative, Gentle or Vinyasa. This may be done through trial and error. Maybe you didn't like your first Yin class try taking a yin class with a different teacher. You might just have a better class experience. Maybe you have never tried vinyasa, who knows you might enjoy vinyasa more than Hatha yoga. Having a yoga teacher who supports you and encourages you to practice will help motivate you more to practice. Finding a style of yoga that you enjoy the most will keep you excited and motivated.
4) Stay Accountable
Keep a yoga journal to record your time of practice, and experiences. If you find yourself not practicing yoga journal asking yourself what is keeping you from your practice. You will see what is standing in the way of your practice and goals. Have a yoga buddy maybe this person practices with you. Don't have someone to attend practice? Share your goals with a trusted friend or partner and ask them to check in with you occasionally to see if you're meeting your goals. Having someone who keeps you on track and makes you feel accountable to more than just yourself you will feel more motivated.
5) Celebrate Your Victories
Journaling after your practice helps you see your progress. If you are seeing progress celebrate your mini-goals rather that is practicing yoga once a week or three times a week, you were able to hold downward facing dog longer, or maybe you learned the prep for headstand. By celebrating mini-goals you will motivate and stay on track.
How do you stay motivated to practice yoga?
When I graduated from 200-hour Hatha yoga training
Yoga teacher training helped me create a pathway to myself through asana, pranayama, and meditation techniques. The techniques I learned showed me how to explore self and discover self. Since birth, we search for our place in this world, what's wrong, what's right, who we are and what we have to offer. Yoga training gave me an idea of who I am and showed me what I have to offer. The training showed me how to understand myself, and the world I live in. It taught me to look within for the answers. We are always looking for self, and teacher training will show you the path to yourself if you let it.
Not only did the yoga training show me how to experience self, but it also showed me my heart. When you practice yoga you practice vulnerability. I was challenged to open. The practices I experienced showed me the boundaries I build around my heart. These barries I build protected me, yet held me back from receiving love, giving love, and growing. Yoga showed me how to clear the boundaries I build out of fear so I could grow. I learned how to love myself and my body as I am without all the accessories. My heart opened.
Yoga training showed me that I am more than just the container of my body and my mind. I'm not just a human floating around. I am a spiritual being having a human experience. There is more here than just the physical world. I learned that there is a greater force out there that cares deeply for me. Teacher training taught me how to connect with the divine through my practice and my daily experience by revealing my divine attributes. I saw how to see the light in the darkest of times, and the in of darkest people. I left yoga training with a new set of eyes and a different perspective of the world.
I learned various ways to take care of the container (my body) that holds my spirt. I developed skills to take care of not only my physical body but my mind. Life throws shit at us daily. The skills I learned to support while dealing with the shit life throws at me. Yoga Training taught me what it means to be mindful. I learned the importance of discipline, diet, and what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.
Through the practice, I discovered what I have to offer to this world. I am here to teach people about their body and mind. I am here to guide people to their self and help them find balance. I am here to teach people how to find and share their unique gift to the world. I'm here to show people that they don't have to look outside themselves to find happiness. Yoga teacher training changed my life in many ways. I don't know who I would be today if I didn't take it.
My Teacher Libby Cox
My 200-hour ytt classmates
Once you break routine it can be tough to get back on track, especially with yoga. It can be difficult to make it to a yoga class every day. Have you thought about developing a home yoga practice? Here is some advice to help you develop a home yoga practice.
1) Find a time to practice- Look at your daily schedule. Dedicate a specific time of day to a yoga or meditation practice. Even if you practice 10 minutes or 1 hour. You should practice at this same time each day without disruptions. Same time, helps you develop discipline and routine.
2) Find a spot to practice- Find a spot in your home to practice. The spot that you chose should be a place where you are not easily disturbed. You do not have to have a “Yoga Room”. Your practice space can be in the hallway, in your room, or in the kitchen. Your space does not need to be special. Your practice is what’s special. Use this same spot each time you practice.
Same time & same place! This is important for developing a routine.
3) Invest in practice journal- I recommend investing in a practice journal that is only used in your practice. Journaling is a very important part of my yoga practice. Sometimes before I practice I journal about my thoughts, day or dreams as a way to eliminate mental distractions that prevent me from being present. After journaling, I begin my practice. Directly after my practice, I journal about my practice experience. Journaling brings clarity, helps process emotions, understand experiences, shows progress and adds depth to your practice.
4) What to practice- Create a list of intentions or goals that you’d like to manifest or achieve in your daily practice. I recommend scheduling a private lesson with your yoga instructor. She/he can help you create a safe and unique daily practice that helps you achieve your personal goals. You can then meet with your instructor regularly to build or change this practice. Personally, I work with the exact same asana/meditation practice until I master the practice or no longer benefit from the practice. One practice can be used for months.
5) Start practicing
What tips do you have?