Tips | Practising yoga by yourself

yoga by yourself at homeGiven the easy access to all kinds of information in sites, books and videos, we have a strong tendency to self-teach ourselves in everything; which is good. However, there are limitations throughout the process that could arise. Taking this into consideration, I am writing in order to give you some important suggestions about the area.

It is possible, desirable and is part tradition to incorporate yoga in our routines, through the yoga techniques and the reflection of its concepts and values, which constitute the way we see the world and act in it. However, it is of the utmost importance to understand the role of a teacher as indispensable. We can practice yoga by ourselves, but only after a teacher passes on to us the necessary teachings. Furthermore, practising without any kind of orientation means that: You are confident about what you have learnt; you are patient and have common sense. You should also consider the following:

Avoid practising by yourself if the only reference you have is through books, sites or DVDs. Even though they can be valid ways of learning, there can be some risks. Follow the reference if you don’t have any other option. If that happens, make sure you choose the right material. Even if you are not a beginner, it is not a good idea to follow the images. It is highly recommended to pay attention to the instructions, understand them in detail and get to know the side effects of each posture. If you have any major health restrictions, look for someone who can guide you through the practice.

Learn to “listen” to your body. You are always responsible for the integrity and health of your body, no matter if you are practising by yourself or with a teacher.

Come closer. With regard to “theory”, get to know more about the topic through books and research on sites. However, depending on your interest, keep in mind that the bond between teacher and student should always be present.

Planning is welcome. As well as learning how to do the techniques separately, it is necessary to understand in which order they should be used. For instance, an example below shows a simple sequence supported by a logic that focus on the spine: Stretches, bends, sidebends, backbends, bends, stretches before and after twists for creating and recuperating the spaces between the vertebrae. Regarding the legs, many asanas stretch their back. So, look for poses that work the front, the inside and the outer part of the legs. Include poses for strength, stability of joints and balance. Consciously relax at the end, do a pranayama (excercise to expand and balance the ‘prana’) and meditation.

Practising

Hygiene is important in yoga. Before practise, take a shower, brush your teeth and your tongue, and if you knowhow to, you can do other kriyas (purification techniques).

Ideally, the practice session should be done with the stomach and intestines empty. However, biological individuality should be respected. If you feel the need, eat something light and in small quantity.

First: Concentrate solely on what you are doing. This time is yours. Disconnect or leave your phone on silent mode. Be grateful for what you have learned so far and that you will put them into practice.

Before you start, concentrate on yourself. And to establish a harmonious connection between mind and body, start with easy movements, that neither require strength, nor flexibility, associated with a deep and rhythmic breath.

Keep this attitude of self-observation and base your actions on three basic principles: Santosha, contentment; Tapas, conscious use of the will power; and Ahimsa, compromise to cause no harm.

Don’t be obsessed with perfection. Be self-conscious. Respect your limits and avoid exaggeration.

The session needs not last one hour or over. The important thing is that it is regular and organic, which means that it should be adapted to your reality. Naturally, to practise yoga without an instructor consistently and safely, it is essential to go after information on the topic and get experience, which can be obtained with a regular class at a yoga school, participating in workshops and retreats or even getting yoga certification.

tradução: Karen Ramos

Om Tat Sat
Good practice!

Gilberto

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