5 Helpful Tips for a Beginner Yogi

5 Helpful Tips for a Beginner Yogi

“It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity.”

-B.K.S. Iyengar

  1. Take advantage of new student specials– The first time I began yoga started with a 24-Hour Fitness membership that a friend and I signed up for.  I had never taken a yoga class before but became instantly hooked.  I decided I wanted to see what it was like at actual yoga studios.  Most yoga studios have some great new student packages which usually are around $30-$40 for 30 days unlimited.  This can help you find a studio that is just right for you.
  2. YouTube yoga videos– There are so many wonderful videos on YouTube that are not only free but very helpful.  I’ve found that every instructor teaches differently and there are so many different ways to perform a pose that may be easier than you were originally taught.  This also saves a lot of money for anyone that’s on a budget because some yoga studios can be quite pricey.
  3. Get some yoga props–  Most of us start off with just a yoga mat which is absolutely fine, but later I found I was kicking myself because I really needed additional items.  Blocks are great for helping with the alignment of poses and are usually provided at a yoga studio, but if you’re practicing at home, you definitely want to start off with at least two.  Then of course there’s a yoga towel (which some studios require for non-slip reasons), yoga strap for loosening your hamstrings, and even a yoga wheel which I have yet to get but it’s a great item for getting that back to bend!
  4. Consistent practice– I really wish in the beginning I jumped in with both feet or not at all.  There’s nothing wrong with practicing once or twice per week as long as it’s consistent.  You want to try and avoid going whole week or two before going back to your mat again.  I know it takes some drive and determination to want to practice daily and I eventually worked myself up to that point.  It’s best to keep it steady so your body will adapt to the stretching and that way you can advance much faster.
  5. Cut that fast food out of your diet- This is something I wish I had done, and it could have saved me from a nasty bout of food poisoning.  You want your immune system to be as strong as possible.  If you can drink water only and make sure to take a multi-vitamin that can really help you.  I know it’s hard to convert completely into a vegetarian but if you can try to avoid eating unhealthy that will help you advance faster.  I found that my body began rejecting a lot of junk food I used to eat with no problem.

Well I hope these tips can help some potential yogis out there!  Happy Halloween and Namaste!

 

 

 

7 Brilliant Benefits of Deep Meditation

7 Brilliant Benefits of Deep Meditation

“Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance.  Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.”

-Buddha

Meditation is arguably one of the most powerful benefits of yoga practice.  Unfortunately, meditation can be greatly misunderstood and also very difficult for someone just starting out.

One of the main criticisms I’ve heard is “I’m unable to stop thinking.  My mind is constantly racing.”

In the beginning it was very hard for me to focus on nothing. I found that my mind would think about work, a past relationship, or even negative thoughts. One of the best things you can do is try to concentrate on your breathing. When you focus on taking slow, equalizing breaths, it clears your mind of all thoughts.

The benefits of meditation are endless but for the sake of keeping it short and sweet, here is a list of 7 benefits:

Continue reading “7 Brilliant Benefits of Deep Meditation”

The Heart Chakra and the Power of Yam

The Heart Chakra and the Power of Yam

“When you touch the celestial in your heart, you will realize that the beauty of your soul is so pure, so vast and so devastating that you have no option but to merge with it.  You have no option but to feel the rhythm of the universe in the rhythm of your heart.”

-Amit Ray

In Sanskrit, the heart chakra is called Anahata, which means “unhurt, unstruck, and unbeaten”.  The element associated with Anahata is air and is responsible for many feelings such as love, compassion, forgiveness, and love for oneself.  The Heart Chakra is the fourth primary one that is green in color.

I had no idea how important chakras were and didn’t take much time to learn them before I began practicing yoga. Since I’ve improved a great deal in my practice, I’ve noticed a constant tightness in my chest.

It seems no matter how much I stretched it, the tightness and strange feeling would remain. I meditated and focused on deep, long even breaths and still nothing.

I recently went to a yoga class and the instructor put much needed emphasis on our breath.  We also chanted Om several times throughout the session.  I felt an energy that I had never experienced before.  It was like I was on a different plane of existence.  The feeling was electric, like I was in another realm.  It was one of the best yoga classes I’ve attended.

After an hour or so, the feeling began to fade and I was back on earth again. I knew at that moment I never wanted it to end.  I wanted to reach the ultimate level of consciousness and stay in a constant state of blissful peace.

I was intrigued and began reading more about chakras and that’s when I came across Yam.

Yam is the cleansing mantra for your Heart Chakra. This can heal our physical and spiritual center and open ourselves up to love.  It can also heal past wounds and emotional heartache.

I’ve officially been chanting this mantra 3 times a day for 15 minutes. Not only is the tightness in my chest gone but I feel more calm and alive than ever.  I don’t want to overwhelm myself with too much chanting because it can bring on too many emotions that you have to be ready to handle.

For now I’m going to focus on Yam and eventually I will move on to each mantra for all seven of our chakras.  For anyone that is looking to heal past heartache or chest pain, or to open yourself up to love and forgiveness, I hope this article will help guide you in the right direction.

Namaste.