We take our yoga seriously at Inner Power Yoga. Well, kinda. We believe that there's room for fun because at the end of the day, fun = joyfulness. And that folks, is what is at the heart of a yoga practice. Joyfulness, happiness and fulfillment. The melding of body, mind and spirit through hatha yoga practices such as asana and pranayama, should leave you feeling all of those attributes and much more as well. So here is how we view our yoga practice. Would love to hear your comments........
Moving meditation – Asana practice is an opportunity to meld breath awareness with physical movement. Finding your ‘edge’ and breathing into it; breathing through physical uncomfortableness that is mentally manifesting; to listen to your body and understand your limits; to create a greater sense of self-acceptance and self-awareness.
Challenging yourself – It is through challenge that we grow. This doesn’t necessarily mean trying to get your legs behind your neck, but by all means, give it a go, but remember this won’t necessarily take you further down the path of self –realisation. But what challenging yourself physically will do – and a challenging posture for some is an easy posture for others- is generate certain emotions and feelings. You might find you berate yourself - “I’m so bad at this” -or perhaps find yourself feeling frustration. This is your opportunity to witness and watch your mind with objectivity and detachment, and thereby, learn more about yourself and get closer to your authentic Self. Challenging yourself can also mean mentally – staying with uncomfortable thoughts and feelings; staying in a posture longer even though your mind is screaming for you to run; doing a posture that you don’t like because it makes you feel uncomfortable mentally.
Self- Realisation and your true Self – Ultimately, this is what yoga is about. You might start practicing asana because you want greater flexibility and a yoga bum, but what you are actually starting is the journey towards Self–realisation and finding your true, authentic Self. You don’t necessarily have to do anything deliberately – that’s one of the great things about yoga. Watch the breath, practice with awareness and before you know it, things start to shift. However, don’t be surprised that somewhere down the track – maybe weeks, maybe months or even years – you find that it is this journey that keeps taking you back to your mat.
Finding stillness – Our minds are generally a messy place. Thoughts about the past, the present and the future crowd together until our heads resemble a scribbled page. Taking the time out to do a yoga practice helps us to learn to still our minds, to find awareness and be in the present, and to find space. By bringing our focus and awareness to the breath and body we find that we are able to witness any thoughts or emotions that arise and let them go. Over time, this stillness begins to permeate our daily lives, and we find greater peace, happiness and contentment.
Playfulness and fun – Yes, yoga is a serious practice. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be done with a regimented and strict attitude. Sure, you need discipline to keep getting on the mat, but it should be a joyful time in your day. Have fun trying new postures, practice with a like-minded friend and laugh when you fall over in Vrkrasana (Tree Pose). And most importantly, practice with love in your heart and lightness in your spirit.
Self -Practice – Going to classes is a great way to start your yoga journey and inspire and reinvigorate an established practice. But it’s when you take your practice home with you that yoga really starts to work its magic. By establishing a regular practice at home you will find that you will not only get more out of the classes you attend, but that getting on your mat becomes your favourite part of the day. As with anything, practice makes ‘perfect’, and by practicing regularly at home and at classes, you will find yourself opening up in whole new ways in body, mind and spirit. Remember too, that a practice doesn’t need to be a full hour or two a day – even 10 or 20 minutes of asana, breath work or meditation is beneficial.