The benefits of yoga are numerous. Studies show, practice teaches, and history knows that yoga is more than a class of exercises that you struggle to integrate into your planning.
However, maintaining the posture does not make all the classes leave you with that feeling of blessing that you could eat the world. So what makes one class resemble a path to enlightenment, and another resembles a struggle to end it? Maybe it does not have much to do with the teacher, or with the study, but with what we do to get the best out of a class. Here is a series of tips so that in each class, the light of yoga shines in your heart:
1. Go to the free class of any expectations. Do not wait for the teacher to reveal the secret of life, do not wait for the other students to always leave the site near the open window for you, and do not expect your tired body to be able to hold the posture on the head afterwards of having been attending to a child vomiting until midnight. Let go and experience what really is the only truth. Going to each class with an open mind allows you to fully experience the moment instead of mentally arguing about what you had expected it to be. Face this fact: many things are out of your control. Your favorite teacher can be replaced by another, your ex may appear and sit next to you, and a cramp may appear in your left foot. Dealing with the unexpected is part of the practice. Let go of everything, so you can stay.
2. Have an intention. An intention is about the state while, not about the final result. Choose an intention, such as keeping the mind focused on each breath of the practice. This will allow you to experience the moments instead of struggling with the idea of what is the end result of a perfect posture or hip opening.
3. Free yourself from distractions. Much of the yoga class is to stay focused and not let your mind chat so loudly that you can not hear the teacher telling you to take a block for the triangle posture. Try to wear comfortable clothes, not this top that you like so much, but you have to readjust on your belly while maintaining the warrior’s posture. The basis is that, if you are distracted by these small annoyances, you are not present in practice. As simple as that.
4. Explain your physical limitations to your teacher. Tell him that your lower back hurts, or that they have just operated on your knee. Part of their training is to offer you modifications so that you do not have a bad time, and do not hurt yourself because you have been too shy or too egos to talk about your needs.
5. Honor your inner teacher. Let the teacher be your guide, and let your inner voice be your guru. The teacher with a 500-hour training session in front of you is only there to guide you. Of course you can learn from him, but ultimately, the purpose of yoga is to reinforce and balance in such a way that you can honor your inner teacher. This frees you from your mind playing ping pong as far as the teacher. If there is something that says it resonates within you, take it, if there is something that does not, let it go. It is your practice. Listen to your true guru. Which brings us to the next point
6. Listen to your body. Your incredible body is part of this divine guru that you carry inside. If you care more to look good than to be kind to yourself, you would not hear the hamstrings screaming at you, or worse you will not hear them cry. Become subtle enough to detect this murmur (sometimes in the form of breath block) that tells you it’s time to get out of the posture. RESPECT
7. Leave your phone outside. Respect the time spent in practice. Do not carry a watch, telephone, or any other device that connects you to the outside world. Let go of these thoughts that take you out of the studio to put you in the office. In yoga you are not anywhere but here, then stress to know how much is left for the end of the class to reach the meeting, or ask you because your mother-in-law just sent you a message, takes you out of the moment. What is the same as: moment of yoga lost.
8. Bring your own things. A yoga mat that ritually takes you to practice can help you to enter this state of calm more spontaneously and in a more fluid way. Our mind and body automatically begin to relax knowing that it is time to practice.
9. Breathe. Simple, powerful, and vitally important: breath. On the mat and outside, you will receive more of any action or thought if you breathe consciously. It will keep you balanced, anchored, practiced within your abilities, and above all, it will allow you to fully experience the moments of practice, which brings us to the final point.
10. Be grateful. Feeling grateful for going to the studio, on the mat, and being in the moment. Your attitude of gratitude will instill in your practice with the grace of a yogi and will help you to carry with you the findings on the mat to the external world.