What kind of yoga is right for me?

“What kind of yoga is right for me? What a great question! I have been practicing yoga for nearly 10 years and I’m still asking it.On the most basic physical level – the ‘kind’ of yoga you practice may reflect your desire to get hot, cool down, open up, tighten up, move quickly, flow slowly…etc.

On a more fundamental level, you may find yourself called to a particular path of yoga (ie. Kundalini, Ashtanga and Bhakti Yoga).

To add to this mix of schools, many Western brands of yoga have evolved from their traditional Indian roots (ie. Anusara, Jivamukti and Power Yoga).

The different yoga schools simply adhere to different applications of inner discipline, all of which ultimately lead to the liberation of the soul and to a unique understanding of the Divine Unity. The schools are merely named according to the yogi’s objective of self-transformation and the instrument chosen for such anticipated change. www.experiencefestival.com

The kind of yoga that you practice may be defined by name – but truly, it is your body and your practice.

If you’re like me – you may find that your taste changes from year to year, and even day to day.

You may be attracted to a vigourous style (i.e. Ashtanga or Power Yoga) only to find that your practice is injurious.

At other times you may feel a strong calling to surrender into a restorative practice.

Ultimately, the right kind of yoga is one that brings you into balance.

For more insight check out Mary Jo’s articles: Is Yoga For You? and A Brief History of Yoga.

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How much soreness is normal?

This is a very interesting question. One that I too have wondered about. After taking a hiatus from practising, as in anything, it’s important to ease in wisely. For yoga you might consider starting with some free form dance to loosen up, reduce any tension and warm up the joints and tissues. Vigorous, free form movement can be much less hard on the muscles than jumping into a somewhat “linear” practise. When you are in the asanas, you might consider a longer slower time in them with deep and steady breathing.

Be sure to have a 10 minute minimum relaxation at the end of your practise no matter what length it is as recovery and rest are very important.

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Yoga Once a Week?

For many students it is challenging to create and maintain a home based practise. One way to ensure that you get some home practice in during the week to enhance the many benefits of such a powerful practice you might like to buy a DVD or audio CD to help lead you through a series. There are many on the market. You will have to look closely to see what they offer and what focus they have. The ones produced by Gaiam are quite reliable indeed.

Doing a little everyday is adequate to continue the learning such as 10 minutes of resting child and savasana or relaxation. Sun salutations are very effective and encompass many openings too. Be gentle, give it as long as you realistically have and go from there.

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Joints Cracking Too Much?

The sounds emitted from the joints are in my understanding a change in the pressure thus releasing the inherent pockets of gases and recalibrating. I understand through chiropractors that if there is no associated pain there is likely nothing negative however, your practice ought to be generating as much integrity and strength alongside flexibility as possible.

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Is Yoga For You?

The mystical world of yoga has captivated millions of people. Yoga’s popularity is well deserved and timely. The science of yoga offers something for everybody, even you!

It is hard to escape the recent North American trend of yoga’s rising popularity. We encounter images and references to yoga in subways, popular magazines and at fitness gyms.

While the popularity of yoga is unquestionable; it has spurred many questions from those unfamiliar with yoga practice and philosophy. Why and how do we make our way through all of the many unfamiliar terms, styles and forms that are being offered?

To an unfamiliar eye, the mystical and somewhat curious world of yoga may appear daunting, and in some cases, confusing.

In my experience, once I have an understanding of something, I take out the perceived threat and explore it with an open mind and contextual reference. We stand to gain from the potential that lies therein.

It is analogous to traveling to a foreign country, initially not knowing the language or the customs, and then eventually relishing in the discovery of a new world.

Studies continue to affirm yoga’s multitude of health benefits, and everyone from athletes, actors, to high powered executives are incorporating yoga into their fitness regime. Interestingly, the physical benefits are often the motivation to practice yoga, which eventually leads to a deeper mind-body awareness and connection.

Yoga offers that to you and more, due to its physical, mental, and spiritual attributes. For those of you scared off by the word or notion of spiritual – don’t worry, from the world of yoga, spiritual simply refers to the fluidity of your Self, or your ability to fully embrace and express your life-force, which is essentially a state of bliss, a state of non-suffering.

Self-realization was the sole purpose of practicing yoga. Yoga simply means the union of Self, perhaps more accurately, the re-union of Self. We all start off in this world as blissed out babes; it is the journey back to that state of peace and joy about life, about our self, that is the path of yoga.

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The 5 Physiological Principles and Yoga

Often as a teacher, I am asked by a student “how often should I practice my Yoga asana?” In my travels and interactions with other teachers, it is evident that it is a common question that is asked by students. Perhaps the most common response that I have heard teachers give is “practice as much as you feel you need” ie. listen to what your body is saying, or follow your common sense. Good advice. Did you ever wonder what was behind the “voices” and feelings of your body?Five Foundational Principles

In Exercise Physiology there are 5 foundational principles that are key to health and wellbeing as it pertains to exercise. You will see that they are as applicable to asana practice as they are to traditional forms of exercise.

Principle 1: Principle of Individual Differences

Because every body/mind is different, each person’s response to a Yoga asana practice will be different. The length of time between sessions will depend on what is going on for each individual yogini – how new they are to Yoga, their ability to connect brain and body, their level of fatigue, their level of stress, the amount of injury or scar tissue that exists in their body, and their age, are just a few factors. These factors will also influence the style of Yoga that a particular yogini is drawn to.
Principle 2: Principle of Overload

According to this principle, a yogini needs to apply a greater than normal stress on their body in order to adapt, change, strengthen. You can do this for yourself by increasing the length of time that you are in an asana, or increase the complexity of the asana that you are practicing. If you want to maintain the practice where it is at, then continue to practice your asanas as is.

Principle 3: Principle of Progression

This implies that there is an optimal level of overload for each of us. It is as important to rest and recover, as it is to increase the complexity or time in an asana. If a yogi increases the complexity of an asana or time in an asana too quickly there is a greater chance for injury and/or a reduced chance for improvement. When not following the principle of progression, it is possible to overtrain. You know that you are “overtraining” in your Yoga asana practice if you have the feeling of being washed out, tired, and dehydrated, have ongoing muscular pain, insomnia and an inability to relax.

Principle 4: Principle of Adaptation

According to this principle, the body adapts to the increased time or complexity of asana in a highly specific way. By repeating the asana practice over and over again the body adapts and the sequences, or individual asanas become easier to perform. Wasn’t it P. Jois who said, “Practice, practice, all is coming?” This principle explains why some beginning yogis are quite sore when starting a new Yoga program – no matter the Yoga style – and after doing it for a while, feel that there is much less muscle soreness associated with the program. As the yogi becomes comfortable with their Yoga practice, they will need to vary up the program to stay aligned with the Principle of Overload if they want to continue to improve their strength, flexibility, balance and stability.

A word of caution: As a teacher, be sure that that the new yogi is truly experiencing muscle soreness and not muscle pain. The two are quite different. If it is pain, then the student has gone “too far” and has gone into “overtraining” mode.

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What is Energy Anatomy? | Trinity Yoga

Energy Anatomy, What is it?

Everything in the universe is comprised of energy; it takes form in many vast and mysterious ways. We all have experienced faces of our own “energy”. Learn more about some of the more subtle and unseen forces that comprise your state of being. The energy we see is physical energy and yet there are many other forms that we cannot see. Wind, sound and thought are a few of the ones we cannot see and yet we know they exist.

What is “thought energy”, and how does it move as energy in our bodies? This is the question we will delve into here. This is a key concept to begin to understand and to feel familiar with. Many of you could probably relate to how different you feel when your mother is in front of you as compared to a very powerful person such as your boss or a movie star.

You also have a totally different “feel” when you are preparing to make a presentation, as compared to sitting out on your deck in the sun. How is it that some people can make you feel intimidated and some are absolutely neutral? This corresponds to your own energy field and the “data bank” that processes incoming energy/information, called your chakra system.

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