Good afternoon aspiring yoga practitioners,
How is your Sunday going? Well, I hope.
I had an interesting experience this morning that helps to illustrate the next step to developing a regular yoga practice.
One of my teachers (I have two primary people that I consider teachers, both living in North Carolina) has a program at his small studio on Sunday mornings called Yoga Church. It is a treat to go now that my exams are through.
We do about an hour of physical practice, as well as meditation and reading (Ti Harmony, my teacher, brings in other aspects of yoga in addition to physical postures). In doing postures this morning, I had to do a lot of “variations” for some of the poses. Variations are changes in the alignment or movement in a posture to tailor it to the individual’s body. This is usually done for safety. I do modifications because I have disc degeneration in my lower back. Some of the poses hurt my back, so I have to do them in different ways.
In doing this, I realized that Part II in the process of developing a regular yoga practice has to be learning what postures work for your body, which postures need to be modified, and which postures do not work for your body. This builds upon Part I, which you can see by looking at “Developing A Regular Yoga Practice Part I”. This can be tricky for a beginner, but I believe you can do it.
I will give you an example. I started practicing yoga about 10 years ago, around age 15. I loved it immediately, but I did not do Part II. This contributed to the joint dysfunction in my sacrum and hips which results in back pain. Each person’s body is different, and if we do poses just like the person next to us, we may end up getting injured.
So, Part II: Find out what poses work for your body, and what variations you may need to safely practice yoga. Figure out what your body needs, and what it doesn’t need!
This may require some googling, and reading articles online (or in print). Or, you can have some one-on-one sessions with your yoga teacher, if this is available and affordable. I will be collecting some helpful articles on variations, and will be posting them in the next few weeks.
If you have questions that I may be able to answer, please feel free to send me a message at my email address listed on my profile.
Follow my blog to stay tuned…