4/1/2015 8:04:00 AM
Active Sports Clubs Instructor Kelly Scanlon, E-RYT, CPT
Not Just For Pretzel People
Whenever someone tells me that they are in yoga class for the very first time, I get chills of excitement running up my spine. What an honor to be part of someone’s first impression, and what a responsibility to give him or her the right dose of yoga for those 60 minutes.
In all honesty, yoga is a menu of options to choose from. If you’re looking to compliment your exercise routine, yoga can help to wind down and stretch your muscles. There are also vigorous yoga practices that can replace your workout altogether–generating enough heat to count as a cardio and strength training workout. Yoga can be purely physical, or it can serve as a spiritual tool as well. Whatever you want your yoga practice to be, is what it will be.
According to the 5,000-year-old texts, yoga is an eight-limb path to spiritual enlightenment. If you’re looking to take your practice off the mat, consider the first two limbs; the yamas and the niyamas, and how they relate to your daily life. The yamas are outward behaviors towards other people: non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, moderation, and non-hoarding. The niyamas are behaviors towards one’s self: cleanliness, contentment, discipline, study of self, and devotion. Choose one of these each week and notice how they play a role in your decision-making and your thought patterns. Over time, observing the yamas and niyamas can lead to huge changes mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
If you’re looking to begin a home meditation practice, you must start small and gradually build. For example, sitting quietly with your eyes closed for 5 minutes each day, and slowly building up to 10, 20 or 30 minutes. A common misconception is that meditation is thinking about nothing. In reality,...Read More