Are you searching for tools to keep a calm, balanced but creative mind? A sustainable home practice that you will stick to? A way to keep you lucid, fit and able to react in a constructive way to unexpected and stressful happenings? A way to unblock your creativity and sharpen your focus?
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.
A six minute forty second presentation on what hot yoga is can leave you breathless — but if you do yoga…well, it helps! And hey, if it isn’t perfect, then remember three things: Practice, practice, practice. It’s all about the breath.
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.
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.
“The present moment has always been available to spiritual seekers, but as long as you are seeking you are not available to the present moment. “Seeking” implies that you are looking to the future for some answer, or for some achievement, spiritual or otherwise. Everybody is in the seeking mode, seeking to add something to who they are, whether it be money, relationships, possessions, knowledge, status – or spiritual attainment. “Seeking” means you need more time, more future,”
Artist and photographer Siobhan Wall has created a series of ‘quiet’ city photo books using her images to lead the reader to tranquil places she has discovered throughout Amsterdam, London and shortly, Paris (4 April 2013). These locations could be anywhere from a parks, lakes and woods to libraries, restaurants and health spas. This is what quietness means to Siobhan.
Flowers in Beatrix Park, Amsterdam.
For me, quietness is not just about finding somewhere beautiful to look at, although this really helps. It is also about listening to my body and being a bit more aware of how I’m feeling at that moment.