HolisticGoddess

Holistic lifestyle, healthy eating, yoga, & Life!


Leave a comment

3 Ways to Cultivate and Keep a Home Yoga Practice

Here’s a short, but informative article on starting….and continuing a home yoga practice. 🙂

 

By Coraley Letcher

3 Ways to Cultivate and Keep a Home Yoga Practice

Starting a home practice can be a daunting task. When I talk to students about starting a home practice, the same topics keep coming up: They don’t have the space or the time, they’ve tried but can’t stick with it or when they try, they don’t end up doing the type of practice they would like to. A home practice can teach you to follow your intuition and how to listen to your body. It will teach you to make time for yourself and it will allow you to reap the benefits daily practice can bring.

Below are my top three tips for starting and keeping, a home practice:

1. Keep a journal, calendar, or both.  

Why? It keeps you accountable. By writing on your calendar that you are practicing that night, you’ll motivate yourself to practice so as to avoid staring at your missed commitment the following day. A missed practice can be a big kick in the pants.

I keep my journal on a shelf in my home practice space. When I was working on incorporating consistent practice into my life, having the journal there always got me to go to my practice area, even if I had told myself I didn’t have time, or was too tired to practice. No matter what, I could always convince myself that I had time to jot down what I was feeling in my journal. After a few instances of writing but not practicing, it started to feel ridiculous to be there and not practice. One new habit fed the other.

I have both a calendar and a health journal. I check my practice off on my calendar when I’ve completed it, and I write in the journal even if I don’t do a practice. Both keep me accountable and motivated.

2. Release your expectations. All of them.

Don’t worry about having the “perfect” space to practice. Don’t worry about how much time you were able to spend on your practice on any given day, and definitely don’t worry about the kind of practice you decide to do. Find a spot that’s big enough to roll out your mat and start there. If it helps, you can set up a special space where you can keep your yoga stuff. Try setting up an alter, but don’t let an imagined need for such a space keep you from starting your practice today….

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Benefits of Savasana (Corpse Pose)

shah-VAHS-anna), sava = corpse

This pose is also called Mrtasana (pronounced mrit-TAHS-anna, mrta = death)

 

Savasana is a pose of just total relaxation. It can actually be one of the most challenging of yoga poses because you are lying totally still. But it is also perhaps the most important part of a yoga practice. It serves many purposes: physical, spiritual and philosophical.

All of the practices that we do in Yoga, from the Pranayama or breathing exercises, to the physical practice, to the end at Savasana…..is all a metaphor for Life. When we begin, we are focusing on our Breath, the Beginning of Life, our birth into this world. Just like when a baby is born, the first thing they all learn to do is to breathe in air outside the womb, breathing into our belly….this is what makes the first part of the physical yoga practice.

Then we come to the second part, which is the actual body movement, the challenging poses, and balance. This represents our teen and adult years when Life becomes more challenging, requiring more out of you, to push yourself to the limit, and even then….a little further.

Then finally we come full circle, to the completion of  Life which we will all have to enter someday….Savasana. This represents the End and yet it can also represent the Beginning, when we once again come back to the Breath and become reborn fully refreshed and once again, ready for the outside world. When you begin to look at Yoga in that sense, your practice becomes more meaningful and the poses more positive.

 

 

After the exertions of the practice, Savasana allows the body a chance to regroup and reset itself. After a balanced practice, the entire body will have been stretched, contracted, twisted and inverted. These means that even the deepest muscles will have the opportunity to let go and shed their regular habits, if only for a few minutes.

Furthermore, the physiological benefits of deep relaxation are numerous and include:

  • A decrease in heart rate & rate of respiration
  • A decrease in blood pressure
  • Significantly lowers muscle tension
  • Reduces general anxiety
  • A reduction in the number and frequency of panic attacks
  • Provides an increase in energy levels
  • Increases focus and concentration
  • Decreases fatigue
  • Creates deeper and sounder sleep
  • Improves self-confidence

 

Savasana provides a perfect time for inner focus an integration. After so much time being bound to the actions of the body, the practitioner’s awareness is hopefully turned inwards and purified of sensory distraction. Savasana then becomes the beginning of deeper, meditative yogic practices. In state of sensory withdrawal it becomes easier to be aware of the breath and of the state of the mind itself. Savasana also gives the nervous system a chance to integrate that in what can be thought of as a brief pause before coming back to everyday Life.

 

There are different variations to achieving Savasana:

  • Lying flat with a folded blanket or small pillow under the head

Corpse pose

  • Placing a pillow or bolster under the knees. This position is perfect for those with back or knee issues or pregnant women.

  • Legs propped up on a chair with blanket under the hips

  • A folded blanket under the back

 

Which ever variation you choose, make sure you body is fully supported in a way that fits you so that you can be able to completely enjoy the meditative and restorative experience that Savasana has to offer. Softly begin to close your eyes, refocus on the breath, slowly deepening as you progress, and relax and allow the Earth to support you. Savasana can be performed anywhere between 2-7 mins. is sufficient time to allow the body time to restore and integrate all the energy that has been raised.

 

Remember to just breathe…….and let go. 🙂

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

The “Fuzz” Speech….

As we get older, stretching becomes more and more important to maintaining good muscular health. This “Fuzz” buildup he speaks of (it’s actually filmy fascia),  can continue to collect over time, thus limiting our range of motion. The physical practice of Yoga, the gentle stretches,  helps to decrease this by consistently keeping the muscles “Fuzz” free!

If not stretched out or released through body work (such as massage), the filmy fascia begins to coagulate and intertwine. This makes people SERIOUSLY inflexible. This is also why older people are prone to injury…their limited range of motion leads to falls!

So what’s the take away? Be patient with yourself and others; sometimes the body takes time to open. But keep up with your Yoga practice and eventually you wont be so…fuzzy. This is the whole reason Yoga is so important….