Yoga can be beautiful and beneficial unless your yoga “teacher” did not bother to tell you about the importance of postural alignment and did not warn you about how yoga can damage your body and your mind. The lack of proper instruction during your yoga practice can contribute to injury and it can lead you in the wrong direction. Below are some basic tips on how to structure your daily yoga practice so that you can avoid damage and find joy in practicing yoga.
“The first organizing principle underlying human movement and postures is our existence in a gravitational field”- (H.D. Coulter). Therefore, it is useful to keep recalling how the force of gravity dominates our daily yoga practices. D. Coulter teaches that every movement we make is influenced by the gravitational field, and that we have to pay attention to our musculoskeletal system and its “mechanisms” that make movements and postures possible. “The musculoskeletal system does more than move the body; it also serves as a movable container for the internal organs. Just as a robot houses and protects its hidden supporting elements (power plant, integrated circuits, programmable computers, self-repairing components and enough fuel to function for a reasonable length of time) so does the musculoskeletal system house and protect the delicate internal organs.”- (H. D. Coulter “Anatomy of Hatha Yoga”).
The second organizing principle or a basic premise of yoga and meditation practices is where to focus your attention: “Lock you attention within the body. You can hold your concentration on breathing, on tissues that are being stretched, on joints that are being stressed, on the speed of your movements, or on the relationships between your breathing and stretching.” -(H.D. Coulter)
If we could also follow the B. K. S. Iyengar teachings and the philosophy of Buddhism we might discover another important organizing principle: the elimination of disturbances, like hatred or addiction to gossip here and there. “Hatred and its relatives, malice, envy and other disturbances are evidenced in intolerance, violence and war. But it also exists in our own lives when we wish others ill or envy what they have. If they are less, we feel like we are more.”- B.K.S. Iyengar “Light on Life”. “Train constantly in three general points: your mind training should not contradict your pledges, your mind training should not become offensive, your mind training should not be biased” –“Mind Training, the Library of Tibetan Classics”.
Our fears are our obstacles to our developmental progress as well. In yoga, burning through the obstacles and dealing with your fears that are inherited or created by your surroundings can be a difficult task. In most cases our fear is nothing else but the willingness to stay in the comfort zone of our habitual patterns. When you overcome and destroy an obstacle, compassion and love replace the part where once there was something negative.
Therefore, before any mindful activity including practicing yoga, meditating, blogging, or practicing your daily speech, pay attention to the above principles so that your experience will grow and flourish. Whether you have 2 hours of free time or just a few minutes to practice, sit in a comfortable place and learn or master one pose at a time.
Continue working on your creativity, non-violent personal power and on strengthening your heart.
Kundalini Heart Twists to Open Your Heart
Similarly, we should be conscious in dealing with our everyday communication, such as avoiding listening to someone’s violent or derogatory language. Verbal violent attacks are poisonous for everyone without specific choice. Believe it or not, just like air pollution it has a direct impact on everyone’s well-being. Verbal violence is not something to be considered lightly, as we know from the damage that bullying does to its “victims”. Mean words and the not so funny “jokes” that bullies carry in their verbal weapon arsenal may not be the “sticks and stones that break your bones,” but they do great damage to everyone involved: to the ones who say them or the ones who hear them.
The following is a classic example of humane lessons and humor. Even though these videos include some flying objects, explosions and gun shots in the “KITCHEN” it is worth watching them: No violence, no sexism, no “ageism”, no bullying and no derogatory language or pseudo humorous fabrications to combat someone’s insecurity or lack of compassion.