YOGA FLOW & MEDITATION
"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."
- Neale Donald Walsch
The Magic of Yoga
Yoga is not about doing tricks, but it is about finding postures that are difficult enough for you to find the magic. When I say the magic of yoga, I mean getting to that sweet spot in your practice where you see results or change happening. Change can be physical, emotional, and/or spiritual, but the magic of yoga can happen on your very first class if you let it.
Find growth in yoga by practicing the following:
- Find a pose (asana) that is difficult for you. Be still and breathe.
- Let go of ego and judgement about where you're at today or what your asana looks like.
- Go to your personal edge of difficulty (without pain or loosing much of your breath). Many yoga poses are difficult, so be patient and give yourself room to grow.
- Once you're there, go deeper into the posture on each exhale.
- Be aware of the journey it takes to get to the next level and be aware of what you find along the way.
- Remember: Growth happens outside of your comfort zone.
So the magic of yoga really has nothing to do with what your pose looks like, but finding places that are just difficult enough for you to start experiencing growth. Although most studios try to remain judgement free, I find ego and judgement can get in the way of growth on both ends of the spectrum. It can enable one to rush into a posture without the proper foundation and thus, lead to injury; but it can also prevent you from stepping out of your comfort zone for fear of falling or people who think you're showing off. Remember . . . The people in yoga that are standing on their heads and doing tricks aren't always trying to show off, but rather find the same magic everyone else is experiencing outside of his/her comfort zone . . . It just takes them a more physically intense posture to get there.
Growth happens outside of our comfort zone, so the point of yoga is go to your edge and slowly move outside of it. We "learn to struggle" as my first yoga teacher told me. So don't judge where anyone else is in his or her journey, whether it's ahead or behind where you are at. It has nothing to do with you. As we mentioned before, it's not even about the pose, but what one gains from the journey of stepping outside of one's comfort zone and learning to struggle. Let go of your ego and let the yoga magic happen . . .
Practicing a handstand is outside a lot of people's comfort zones. The best way to start practicing a handstand is to first, practice your balance and build enough strength to support your own body weight. Once you have a good foundation and feel ready to try a handstand, I suggest practicing the postures below on a wall first. Once you feel stable enough to try it off the wall, practice using the steps below.
Note: The more you practice, the more your body builds muscle memory. The movements eventually become easier and more automatic through core strength and muscle memories. You will then, need deeper poses to continue growing.