Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Yoga Tips *Guest Post from The Wonderful World of AshMastandrea*

Hello beautifuls! I have two more days of vacation left before I head back home. But until then, I have a couple more awesome guest posts for you! Today my sweet and beautiful friend, Ashley, from The Wonderful World of AshMastandrea is here to share some awesome yoga tips with you! 

Greetings, Sweetness of Life Readers! I feel so honored to be able to post for Alaina today! Since she is such a fan of yoga, I figured I would share some yogic wisdom with you in this post.

I’m a 200-hour Certified Yoga Teacher living in the Midwest and blog over here and here. I write about yoga, interesting reads and random things I enjoy. Stop by and check me out when you get a chance, and let me know what you think!

Today, I want to share a few tips on getting the most out of your yoga practice. These thoughts are applicable to new students as well as those of you who have been practicing for while.

Make Every Practice an Opportunity to Learn
It’s easy to approach yoga as a physical exercise, an hour-long game of Simon Says. Instead of going through the motions and following the leader, take those moments of silence to ponder what is happening within you at that very moment. What feelings have come up? What physical sensations are you experiencing? How can you learn from these observations?
Be Content with What You Learn
Alignment is a big scary beast. Anatomy is complicated and full of big words. In one practice, you may hear hundreds of instructions, most of which you won’t be able to remember once you come back from that final relaxation. And, that’s OK. You have an infinite number of practices ahead of you to figure it out. As you take that final bow of “Namaste,” recognize that you took in a lot of information and what you hold on to is just enough.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
As long as you are polite and not disruptive to those practicing around you, feel free to make eye contact with your instructor and motion them over to your mat if you have a question. Chances are, someone else in class wants to do the same. Again, it’s not Simon Says, use each class as an opportunity to grow in your practice. I love when students ask questions. I don’t expect my instruction is completely perfect and expect some things will need clarification.
Fear Not
Yoga is intimidating for some. You want me to put what, where?! Observing more advanced students and their perceived coolness (They’re just turning inward, so don’t take it personally if classmates don’t want to chat about the weather!) can make newbies feel unwelcome. If you’re nervous or not sure what to do, don’t worry about it. We all started somewhere. Do what you can and be proud of yourself for challenging your mind and body as you begin an amazing and rewarding journey that is all about you!
Feel free to bring a small notebook to class. Write down feelings (physical and mental), questions, favorite (or loathed) poses...anything you want to remember or just get down on paper. Sometimes it’s easier to settle your mind after writing down those thoughts that interrupt your inner silence.

Do you have anything to add? I’ll be posting more tips, musings on yoga and instructions on poses and breathing exercises at yogagypsystl.com, so stop by and say, “Hello!” 

Beautiful! Thank you Ashley <3 These are such great tips that I hope everyone has enjoyed.
Question: Do you practice yoga? If so, what is your favorite asana?

Have a beautiful day filled with light and radiance, friends! <3