A step by step guide to learning Yoga

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A step by step guide to learning Yoga

Dear Friends,

Okay, so we lost an extra hour of beauty sleep last night, worse things could happen. Hopefully you were dreaming a pleasant dream before your time was shortened.

Today’s featured image was taken when we spent the day at the beach and rented a jet ski in the island of Saint Kitts in November as part of a Caribbean cruise. The water was perfect.

If your on my blog chances are you have heard a little about Yoga and wonder what it’s all about.

You probably have a few preconceptions and imagine a girl twisted up in lotus pose, or maybe you picture a person sitting cross-legged chanting some weird sound?

To simply things, I am going to review step by step what you can expect in a normal Yoga session.

First Step: Introduction:

Most Yoga classes begin in a standing position. Sometimes an instructor will start in seated and ask you to sit crossed legged and close your eyes. They might instruct you to concentrate on a person that you want to offer up your practice to today. It could be a family member, a friend, a person you heard about on the news that is going through a situation, heck, it can even be an offering for yourself and your needs, but I’d advise to put others ahead of yourself unless you are particularly struggling with an issue. There is no limit to whom you “offer” the positive energy of your practice up to.

The reason an instructor usually starts in standing after dedication is that the standing position is the most natural Human position there is. Leonardo Da Vinci produced a famous scientific picture of the symmetry of the human body when it is in its natural standing position. The outstretched arms and legs can have a perfect circle drawn around them and this is true of everyone regardless of their height or weight. What this means is that a standing pose comes naturally to us – we are not worried about getting it wrong and we can concentrate of the state of the body. Breathing exercises will be a key part of the warm up stage for your routine. This is the only time in your life you will be ‘taught’ to breath and it’s a skill which allows people to restore calm to their bodies and thoughts.

Second Step: Your Routine:

This is the art of your session which will vary the greatest depending on what style of Yoga you are learning. Each posture (think exercise segment) will be different, however, the nature of them will become very similar after a short period of time. You will be stretching muscles that you don’t normally use in the course of a day. Your teacher will explain to you the alignment for each pose. He/She may approach you to guide you into and out of the postures if they see you doing it incorrectly or if they feel you would benefit from a slight adjustment. Usually the teacher will ask before assisting, but if you are not wanting assistance approach the teacher prior to class and explain that you hard about adjustments during the class and you’d feel uncomfortable if that were to happen. The instructor is there for your benefit and will understand your “personal space”.

Normally your instructor will say the pose in both English and the native “Sanskrit” terminology for the pose. Don’t worry about trying to understand or learn the Sanskrit in the first few months, that will come to you with repetition and is not expected of any student but rather optional if you wish to learn anatomy in Sanskrit.

A lot of times your Yoga teacher will talk about the reason behind certain postures and about the energy points of your Chakra’s (Areas of spiritual power within the body). The Chakra system is important  to learn because it can teach you where areas of congestion are in your body and you will learn postures to release the blockages to allow energy to flow freely.

Final Step: The End Of The Session:

During the session you have worked a lot of key areas of your body and the relaxation stage or end of your practice is where you will allow this energy that you have built up to flow in and out and around your body. Usually you will have a cool down period and then “Savasana” or the resting pose. This is where you allow your body to stretch out grounded to the floor beneath you and relax all of your limbs. You concentrate on your breathing and fully “letting go” so that your pent-up energies can release and flow and bring your body, mind and spirit into a calm state. The teacher will normally have you wiggle your toes,feet,fingers,hands and slowly turn on to your side and gently push up into a seated position to end the class with a “Namaste” which can be thought of as an offering of thanks for your practice.

Yoga will give you a sense of peace, calmness, joy and a greater understanding of how to breathe, improve your overall health as well as cope with everything in your life.

Give it a try.

Namaste In Good Health,

Your Friend Kat

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About Kat Wendorf

Kathleen Wendorf is a certified NESTA sports yoga instructor located in Central Florida. Kathleen has studied Hatha, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Yin and Kundalini yoga as well as others. Kathleen is also a writer who has been featured on The Morning Show. She invites you to bookmark and follow her blog jerseyyogalicious.wordpress.com to learn inspirational yoga. You can also visit Amazon to find other books on yoga and travel savings as well as her children's books and fictional novels. www.amazon.com/Kathleen-Wendorf/e/B004XM1G4A Kathleen has a mission to share as much as she can with her yoga friends. Please feel free to reach out to her at any time for any comments or questions.

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