Challange : Try These Four Things During Your Next Yoga Practice

1. Leave Your Ego Behind

If you don’t do this prior to beginning your asana practice, don’t worry, somewhere along the way you will be reminded.  A good practice keeps you on the edge of your limitations.  Finding your edge means finding out how you respond when faced with challenges.  Sometimes, you fall off the edge, and when that happens, you’re humbled.  Find your edge, and stay humble.

2. Don’t Give too much Importance to Expressing the Asana “Perfectly”

So what if you don’t touch your toes in forward fold, and so what if your balance is wobbly.  Let it go.  No judgment.  What is important is that your mind remains equanimous (undisturbed/neutral)… and…

3. Return Your Attention to Your Breath

Let me guess, somehow, your mind tends to wander off and think about something else besides the physically intense postures and transitions you’re putting your body through?  That’s okay.  No worries.  Return your attention to your breath.  It is the lifeforce that fills your body.  It’s your companion.   It’s your tool and it’s accessible to you anywhere and at all times.

(Tip: If you have a home practice, try using a metronome app, to ensure a steady pace of breath.  40/beats per minute.  Inhale for two counts.  Exhale for two counts.)

4. Soften

Release the tension (unnecessary effort) in your body, wherever you can, whenever you can.  It makes twisting, binding, and bending easier and more enjoyable.  Soften your expectations, in order to be sure you’re not putting undue pressure on yourself.  Lastly, soften your facial muscles at every chance, and allow your eyes to smile.  (Too cheesy? Try it and see how you feel!)

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