asana, Uncategorized

Asana Practice Principles

Principles of Asana Practice: 1. Asana is a question to ask your body, not an order. 2. Inquire into posture and listen. 3. Adapt your shape to your breath.

I’ve been teaching hatha yoga for a few years now, and it had thought me a few things. Most of us bring onto the mat ideas about how we should engage in our practice. Firstly, we focus on the outside looks. We try to copy the shape of our teacher. And that’s fine, but… If we can change our thinking, asana practice can offer much more benefits. Firstly, each of us had a different body: our anatomy differs, the traumas our bodies went through left different marks, we hold different emotions inside. Coping anyone simply won’t work. So I came with some basic ideas that I would say are the main principles of my asana practice and teaching. First, don’t think that you have to twist and squeeze and push yourself into a posture. Take it step by step, mindfully watching how your body adapts to the movement and shape. Secondly, think what might the the intention behind a posture. For example, if you practice trikonasana to stretch the side of your body then you need to keep your torso rotated, and it’s better to keep your lower arm somewhere where it can support this rotation. Thirdly, make sure you can breathe! If you are out of breath you are out of touch with the asana and yourself. I like to quote one of my teachers here: if you can’t smile, it’s too hard for you 😉 This usually cause some laughing exhale. So next time you are in the mat you may want to ask yourself: how do I stay in touch with myself in the asana practice? I hope you have a great time connecting to your mind-body!

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