From a beginner point of view, often the practice
of yoga is a mere desire to feel good, to relax, to stretch, or
to become strong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the desire
of being healthy, comfortable within one’s body and mind but
we must remember that Hatha Yoga (Asana practice) is merely a preparation
for meditation(Dhyana). Nowadays
Yoga has the tendency to become a materialistic spirituality, one
is aiming to develop more power but what is the real goal behind
that ? What is the motivation ? Yoga is not a matter of competition
Yoga is not gymnastic, nor body building ! The breath is
generating the movement and the mind abides into it, if not : this
is not Yoga.
On the intermediate and more advanced
student the motivation is then deepening. As my first Yoga
teacher was used to mention : “Be careful, Yoga becomes an
addiction !” Indeed after being through a series of intensive
training or workshops the Yoga practitioner realizes the deep changes
At first it might just be that one is more keen to get up earlier
and enjoy practicing with sunrise. Diet will change too, taking
the direction of staying healthy and clean, avoiding meat, alcohol
and smoking, gradually without struggle or repression. One just feel better with new habits !
At another level when meditation is introduced one will automatically
follow Yamas and Niyamas refraining from harmful actions and open
one’s heart to compassion and study of the true nature of
the Self : thus developing wisdom.
What about a woman practice ?
From my own experience I can definitely not thank Yoga enough for
the unending benefits it can bring into a woman life. Being generally
more sensitive and emotional than male Yogis, Yoginis mostly due
to their monthly circle can experience some strong emotional mood
swings which are simply acknowledged and can be balanced through
an appropriate practice.
Puberty, pregnancy, delivery, PMS, menstrual circles, menopause,
are intense and sometimes stressful periods when the Yogini is encouraged
to adapted her Asana practice to her body state andfeel fully supported physically and mentally
and spiritually for the radiant growth of her inner and outer beauty.
Why do Yoga ?
To bring back the inner harmony dissolved by our modern world.
Yoga teaches us to unify body and thought and mind.
It develops a good physical form, regenerates energies and brings
a feeling of well-being.
The benefits of calm and relaxation brought about by Yoga help us
to face anxiety and stress, the wounds of our century.
Mood swings and overexertion are replaced by balance of mind and
clarity of thought.
YOGA BEGINNER GUIDEBOOK
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it so that you have a useful reminder of your classes together
and a helpful support in your practice back home. Donation
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