How yoga helps with living

“Yoga is an internal practice…the rest is just a circus.” Sri Pattabhi Jois.

Here are 10 ways yoga has changed my life. Continue reading

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Hotpod yoga for Yoga Nieuw-west community

“Life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”
(Jim Rohn)

As classes are limited for December at Yoga Nieuw-west, I have arranged a special deal with Hotpod yoga Amsterdam and anyone registered with Yoga Nieuw-west Amsterdam to enable you to keep up your yoga practice. You will get the opportunity to try out yoga in a hotter room (actually a specially designed Hotpod) with a wonderful yoga teacher, Mercedes Parellada.

Hot pod yoga

Yoga in the Hotpod

Amsterdam Yoga Nieuw-west members are entitled to a 5-class pass for EUR 25 (normal price is EUR 45) which has no expiry date. I will send the details on how to book with the discount to those of you registered with a Yoga Nieuw-west. If you do not receive the information by email  by end of 1 December, then please get in touch.

 

Hotpod yoga is not far from Yoga Nieuw-west

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Avoiding yoga injuries

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

Yoga for the Community

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.

Why practicing yoga postures is different from other forms of exercise

Breathing through imperfect lines: Natasha Gunn

Breathing through imperfect lines: Sketch by Natasha Gunn

When used as a tool for self-transformation and awakening to clearer awareness, yoga starts the moment a student first pays attention to what he or she is doing in the practice.

If a student is unsteady, falling, in pain, or distracted by discomfort, the tendency will be to go back into his or her analytical or agitated mind. Sthira and sukham— steadiness and ease— give the asanas their transformative potential.

Being steady does not mean being perfectly still in a pose that you hold for a very long time. Asanas, by contrast, are alive, in each moment a unique expression of the human being doing them.

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