Making yoga a sustainable part of your life

“Freedom from wanting unlocks the real purpose of existence.”

Yoga, like anything else in your life, needs to be sustainable to work. When you start something new, something you find you like, you can throw yourself into it with great enthusiasm. Or you can find that something new is challenging and therefore needs you to put a lot of energy into it as you process many new things. After a while you will start to see the results. This is often the moment when you can let things slide. It is at the moment when something is working well for you that you need to readjust to keep things in balance for yourself. Perhaps slacken off a bit in how much you do of it, or relax the way you look at it as it becomes more manageable for you. But don’t drop it. Continue reading

Avoiding yoga injuries

It’s always worth remembering that only you can practice with awareness. Your teacher is only your guide…

Yoga Nieuw-west

Yoga by its nature should be sustainable, yet yoga injury is becoming increasingly common.  This could be due to the surge in popularity of yoga worldwide as well as a growing willingness of people to talk about their injuries, owning up that even the universe doesn’t protect yoga practitioners from injury in their practice.

Flickr.com FiberArtGirl Flickr.com FiberArtGirl

The benefits of practicing yoga are many, and regular practice of yoga postures increases flexibility, strength and balance, with increased sensitivity being the side-effect. Despite this increased sensitivity, it might seem strange that even the most experienced yoga practitioners and teachers suffer yoga injury at some point over time.

Although there is no sure way never to get injured–we are only human after all–there are some things to keep in mind when you do yoga postures.

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Bending over backwards to inspire

Yoga and champion may not go hand in hand in your mind. After all, yoga is neither  a combative sport nor competitive in any form. A person who is champion in yoga, therefore, is master of both mind and body. Looking to an extreme example of this awareness and discipline in practice is inspiring.

Some back-bending tips from world yoga champion Kasper van den Wijngaard

“There are many different back-bends but in general you have to bend from top to bottom, upper, middle, lower spine. Ideally you get the shape of a circle, no jagged edges. If your spine is open, yes, you can bend the whole spine — ‘whooosh’ — in a matter of seconds. However, in the process of opening up the spine, don’t be in a hurry to go as deep as possible.” Read the full article.

A champion in action

Enjoy seeing this video of Kasper van den Wijngaard in action, but remember, your practice doesn’t ever need to look like this to be beneficial. Just stay with where you are today. Every little step done with feeling, breathing and correct alignment is a step to healing.

Avoiding yoga injuries

Yoga by its nature should be sustainable, yet yoga injury is becoming increasingly common.  This could be due to the surge in popularity of yoga worldwide as well as a growing willingness of people to talk about their injuries, owning up that even the universe doesn’t protect yoga practitioners from injury in their practice.

Flickr.com FiberArtGirl

Flickr.com FiberArtGirl

The benefits of practicing yoga are many, and regular practice of yoga postures increases flexibility, strength and balance, with increased sensitivity being the side-effect. Despite this increased sensitivity, it might seem strange that even the most experienced yoga practitioners and teachers suffer yoga injury at some point over time.

Although there is no sure way never to get injured–we are only human after all–there are some things to keep in mind when you do yoga postures.

Continue reading