Saturday, 14 February 2015

SOME REMINDERS FOR NEW YOGIS



Yoga is harder than we think
This often comes as a surprise to new students. Yoga uses the whole body including some parts of it that may not have been used very often. This realisation can sometimes come as a bit of a kick in the bum. Yoga also involves the mind and the aim of yoga is to make the connection between the two. 
Through a series of yoga poses the body is strengthened and opened. When we practice yoga its really important to respect the body and work with what we've got. There is a yoga class for everyone. If the style or flow of the class doesnt resonate, try different classes. Some are tailored towards the students level of fitness, state of health and age. 

Gymnastics is not required
One of the most common reasons people avoid going to a yoga class is because they think that they aren't flexible enough. There is this widely held view that we will be asked to contort the body into a pretzel and only by doing so will we be practicing yoga properly. We practice yoga to become more flexible both on the mat and more importantly, off it. Its important to remind ourselves that the aim really isn't to become 'good' at yoga. Yoga isn’t about achieving some complicated contortion leave that to the gymnasts. Yoga is about the journey and being present on that journey for every single step of the way.

Yoga teachers are our guides.
Yoga is about energetics and in the same way as any other classroom setting, the teacher is a vital ingredient. My experience of yoga has been hugely enhanced by teachers with whom I really connected. There are so many different styles of yoga nowadays in the west, and almost as many different styles of teachers to go along with them. It really is important to find a teacher that we trust to guide us. It's our personal journey, but the teachers can be help us to read the map to find our own direction.

Yoga is about connecting with ourselves.
Connecting with oneself can sometimes be very uncomfortable. Yoga encourages us to be open and to let whatever comes come. As we begin to connect, we can begin feel a whole raft of emotions and sensations. The commentary that goes on in the brain can create conflict and make judgements. How long am i going to have to hold this pose? I can’t believe I tried this. What on earth was I thinking? Would it be really rude if I just left? 
Its normal, its human. In times such as these, noticing our breath can help to let go of the 
ego, the constant narative in the brain. The breath allows us to settle into the present moment instead of shutting down, closing up shop, and heading out of the door both literally and figuratively. 


Regular yoga practice changes lives. 
 “How often do I need to do yoga to get the benefits?” is a common question from new students. The answer is to practice as much as you can, whether it's once a week, several times a week or every day.Yoga starts to transform us as soon as we begin to practice, in all sorts of ways and the effects of yoga are cumulative. Yoga is healing and also slows down the aging process. Yoga strengthens our body, mind and spirit. It gives us the tools to face life with a sense of peace and resiliency that we might not have experienced before. 

I am grateful for my yoga practice and what it has taught me so far about myself, my life and how to be more present to experience life more fully. It helps me to know myself a little better each day and I am happy as a teacher to be in the position to share what I have learnt so far with others along the way


ALL OF ELISA'S 2015 LONDON YOGA CLASSES AND OVERSEAS YOGA HOLIDAYS CAN BE FOUND  AT www.elisawilliamsyoga.com