With delay :)
You should always shower before your practice, yoga is not exercise, we do yoga for purification, yoga is sadhana, devotion to the practice.
(“What is sadhana? It’s a committed prayer. It is something which you want to do, have to do, and which is being done by you. … Sadhana is self-enrichment. It is not something which is done to please somebody or to gain something. Sadhana is a personal process in which you bring out your best.” ~ Yogi Bhajan)
1. Posture - Sthira (stability) & Sukha (feeling comfortable, which will come after many years of practice) 2. Breathing, 3. Gazing
Bringing perfection into the postures, not just doing many many postures. To make a posture perfect we have to repeat it over and over again. Your body changes every month.
If we don’t breath then the energy doesn’t flow. Through Asana and breathing the organs will get a massage (purifying). Also the mind quiets down.
Cities have lots of pollution, many children have bronchitis and breathing problems, so nowadays yoga is being introduced to schools.
If you can’t control your breath in the asanas, you are not ready for pranayama (breathing exercises). You have to be strong and stable to sit for a long time in pranayama. Pranayama is the next limb after Asana.
Going to the gym, or biking etc. will make our muscles and joints tight, in yoga we stretch and lengthen, our body has to change, so we shouldn’t do any sports.
Dristi (gaze): Trataka (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trāṭaka) – concentration on one point. In our practice we use dristi and depends on the posture where the dristi is. There are nine dristis. Dristis develop more concentration, you are more focussed in your practice and the oneness will come.
Dristis are being used again with higher levels of pranayama. To be able to focus on certain places is essential, is like learning the ABC. Once we’ve developed it properly the other limbs of yoga are easier.
Bandhas: “If you master the Bandhas you master death. – Life will be prolonged” It takes many years to master them.
Padmasana (Lotus), why do we cross the right leg first? – The heels should press the liver and spleen, our inside is not symmetric. If we cross it the other way it is wrong, as we get the organs in the wrong spot or miss them at all. There are other postures in the practice where you balance it (the hips) out again.
Japa: before we go to bed we should do Japa. It helps us winding down, calm our mind, get rid of worries, so we can sleep. Japa is a meditative repetition of a mantra. Most religions in the world do the practice of repetitive prayer, for example Christians use a rosary.
Mala, traditionally has 108 beads. Normally I do 1-3 rounds.
“You eat once a day you are a yogi, twice a day a bogi, three times a day a rogi and four times a day you go to the graveyard :)”
Too much food is not good, the body needs to work more and if we keep doing this, over the time our body wears out because of the extra work and will get sick.
Food is very important and we should always be conscious about what we eat and how much we eat. If we eat too much dinner, the practice in the morning will be difficult. If we consume too much food our mind isn’t sharp, you are getting dull and you can’t progress. A yogi eats only once a day.
Why no meat:
1. Vegetarian food is easy to digest
2. Ahimsa (means kindness and non-violence towards all living things including animals. It respects living beings as a unity, the belief that all living things are connected. Ahimsa is part of the first limb: Yama.)
3. we don’t have teeth like a tiger :)
Before practicing your stomach should be empty, just have a bit of water. After the practice wait 15-20min to drink and 45min-1h to eat.
After practice there is so much energy, you have to calm down, back to normal before you consume food.
If you are practicing in the evening at 5-6pm, have your lunch around noon, have at least a 5 hours gap.
There is always fear when we do difficult asanas. When we do new asanas our nervous system is raw, fear. Once you get used to that, you can start to relax in it. Every student has fear, if everything it is too easy you will loose interest. By practicing perfections fear goes and you enjoy the practice.
Don’t overstress yourself. The practice will change your body and you have to allow that to happen. Get used to the posture, slowly, take time, the body needs to be ready. Learn it properly and experience the posture.
Never stretch before your practice (sun salutations will stretch you and warm you up). Don’t force yourself in Asana, there is always a solution within the asana. Be conscious in the asana. Many things can bring pain, if you are not focussing on your practice, when your mind is absent while doing asanas you can get injured. Or when the alignment is not correct. Be very conscious in every posture.
1. some injuries will happen through the asanas, but they will go away by practicing
2. If your mind is somewhere else you can get injured, not being aware.
3. or working with a teacher who doesn’t have experience
When you are ill, try to do little bit of practice, sometimes it can really help. If you have fever or too much of a cold then rest. When you are sick take one day off.
If you are new to the practice it can happen that you get tired or get a fever, or diarrhoea from deep back bends, all of it is good, as it means that the poison starts to come out. Fever etc. won’t last long if it comes from the practice – 1 day.