Thank you for joining me. For the next few months… (until end of October – twice a month), I will be offering not only the basics, the fundamentals but more advance techniques in Yoga, and more!
Yoga Fundamentals will be presented in 2 parts. Today will be part 1 and tomorro will be part 2!
So get on your Yoga Gear and Get ready for Yoga Fundamentals!
Welcome everyone! I am so excited to have you joining me today! I have a lot of fun information to share, but first, let me tell you a little bit about myself.
In 2008, I decided to quite smoking after on and off battle with quitting. Then came the fast climb with the after smoking binge and weight gain. With the past 2 yrs, attempting to lose weight, then gain back just as much, I came across a page for a support group for Healthy Weight loss! I went through various pills and diets with little or no help. So after a long and tedious search, I came across Valentus on a former classmates page, and signed up as a Distributor who also uses the Valentus Products…. and I’m now drinking coffee to lose weight!!! Yes, that is right! I am drinking Valentus Slim Roast Coffee to help control my cravings, appetite and to also lose weight! Keep tuned in for more info: https://kjensifymehealthy.wordpress.com
At the same time I am making money being a Health and Wellness Distributor. I I also have my own business as an Affiliate for Weight loss Companies.
Started with Valentus Canada October 2016.
First and foremost, yoga is not about advanced poses, but the process of getting there. This is a lesson many forget. The hardest thing to remember in yoga is it’s not about ego. The second you start comparing yourself to the person next to you, you’ve given in to the ego.
Your flexibility level or ability to balance doesn’t matter. These are things that will improve over time. Even practiced yogi’s have off days! One week you might be able to balance in a standing pose without wavering, and the next could be a whole different experience.
Ultimately, the goal is to learn how to work through the challenges on the mat and translate your success to challenges off the mat as well.
Tips for Leaving Ego Behind!
Letting go of self-judgments can be challenging. We’ve unknowingly programmed our brains to judge ourselves, sometimes rather harshly. To have a successful and enjoyable practice, leave your ego at the door and just experience whatever happens during class. There’s no right or wrong here!
Try these steps:
- Recognize that you are NOT your ego!
Yoga fosters an environment to connect with your inner-self and should not be seen as a competition with others or yourself.
- Don’t judge or compare!
Yoga is a non-competitive sport, so there’s no need to judge or compare. Yoga teaches compassion, so start by showing yourself compassion by not judging yourself negatively.
- Stop making excuses!
There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ days, just different. Excuses can quickly turn into limitations. Recognize your abilities and accept your flaws.
- Replace separation with collaborating!
When comparing yourself, you create a separation from others. Conversely, you become more open to the positive energy of those around you, creating a deeper sense of connectedness, by internalizing your practice.
- Practice gratitude!Incorporate gratitude into your practice. There’s much to be grateful for, yourself for going to class, your instructor for leading your journey, and your fellow yogi’s for sharing a new experience with you.
From the Beginning:
The word yoga is first mentioned in a sacred Indian text, the Rig Veda. Yoga was, then, slowly developed by ‘mystic seers’ who documented their practices and beliefs in the Upanishads, another text containing over 200 scriptures.
The Upanishads specifically reformed the yogic idea of ritual sacrifice from the Vedas into teaching the internal sacrifice of the ego through self-knowledge, action, and wisdom.
The first organized demonstration of yoga appeared in the second century in a text called Patanjali’s Yoga-Sûtras. This is where the 8 Limbs of yoga as a path to enlightenment was developed. These Yoga-Sûtras still strongly influence most styles of modern yoga practiced today.
Next, we’ll take a deeper look at the 8 Limb teachings.
Eight Limbs of Yoga!
The eight-limbed path forms the framework for every yoga practice. You’ll notice only one limb mentions postures, which is what yoga is often most known for.
The practice of yoga is a personal one, meaning each individual person can decide how many branches they wish to incorporate into their practice.
To reach the ultimate goal of enlightenment, however, each limb should be practiced:
- Yama: Universal morality
Niyama: Personal observances
Asanas: Body postures
Pranayama: Control of the breath
Pratyahara: Control of the senses
Dharana: Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness
Dhyana: Devotion, Meditation on the Divine
Samadhi: Union with the Divine
Each limb builds on the next. To reiterate, if your goal is to reach enlightenment, it is believed you must first master the first 7 limbs before advancing to the 8th.
A Deeper Look:
Here we’ll briefly touch on the first, second, and fifth limbs. We’ll talk in more detail about the third and fourth limbs pertaining to the postures and breath later in this presentation.
Yamas and Niyamas:
These limbs are considered the ethical rules of behavior, universal morality, or personal observances.
Yamas describe our outward attitude towards people and things.
The 5 yamas include:
- Ahimsa – Compassion for all living things
Satya – Commitment to Truthfulness
Asteya – Non-stealing
Brahmacharya – Sense control
Aparigraha – Neutralizing the desire to acquire and hoard wealth
Niyamas describe our inward attitude towards ourselves.
The 5 Niyamas include:
- Sauca – Purity
Santosa – Contentment
Tapas – Disciplined use of our energy
Svadhyaya – Self study
Isvarapranidhana – Celebration of the Spiritual
This is the practice of the withdrawing of the senses from attachment to external objects. The goal is to focus the mind, such as through meditation, which will cause the senses to become extraordinarily sharp. Put simply, pratyahara addresses our emotional imbalances that allow outside events to prevent us from achieving inner peace and tranquility.
This limb focuses on breath control, an integral component to the practice of yoga.
Breath is important to restore and maintain health and to promote evolution. Relaxation and balance are a result of the joining of the in-flowing and out-flowing breath.
The breath works hand-in-hand with asanas, or otherwise known as yoga poses. According to the Yoga Sutra, the combination of breath and movement are considered to be the highest form of purification and self-discipline for the mind and the body.
The most common breath is called Ujjayi (pronounced ooh-JAH-yee). This breath helps calm the mind and warm the body. The goal is to completely fill your lungs, while slightly contracting your throat. The breath is performed by breathing entirely through your nose.
How to use Ujjaya:
- From a seated position relax your body, jaw, and tongue.
You’ll start by inhaling and exhaling through the mouth.
On the exhalation, slightly contract the back of your throat, and softly whisper the sound, “ahhh.”
When you feel comfortable controlling your throat during the inhalations and exhalations, gently close your mouth and begin breathing only through your nose.
Allow your inhalations to completely fill your lungs followed by fully emptying your lungs on exhalations. Your breath should now be audible.
This breath will be maintained throughout your yoga session. As you master the breath you will connect the breath to movement of the poses.
At the heart of yoga is the belief that consciously practicing breath control exercises will positively impact your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.Additionally, maintaining a steady, rhythmic breath is the single most important part of your yoga practice to calm your mind and bring awareness to the present moment. The increased oxygen entering the body through Ujjayi specifically is calming for the mind and strengthening of the body. This powerful breath will help release pent-up emotions and stress.
Most people are familiar with the benefits of asanas as improved health, strength, balance, and flexibility.
Poses are developed to challenge and explore emotions, concentration, intent, faith, and unity between the physical and the ethereal body. As we learn to create a balance between our mental world and spiritual experience asanas allow us to explore our mental attitudes and strengthen our will.
Asana practice will improve your state of health, while learning to control the breath will harmonize the flow of energy.
What to Expect!
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your first yoga class:
Start by researching class styles in your area. Look for a style and level to best fit your fitness goals. Many instructor bios can be found online as well.
Once you decide on what class you’ll be attending, keep an open mind. In other words, leave your expectations at home! You may have to try several classes before you find the right fit for you.
Some studios require a waiver to be completed on your first visit, so be sure to arrive early. Arriving early also gives you a moment to speak with the instructor. They can give you an idea what to expect during the class and you can inform them of any limitations or injuries you have so they can provide modifications or tell you any poses to avoid.
Be sure to wear comfortable clothing. Something that’s flexible is ideal such as, shorts, leggings, or yoga pants.
Most studios can provide a mat if you don’t have one. Bring a towel and water bottle. And don’t forget your positive attitude!
Now that you have a better understanding of yoga’s rich history and what to expect for your first class let’s talk about some basic poses!
Here is a list of poses we will discuss including the common names and types of pose. Don’t worry, you aren’t required to know all the names! The more you practice the more familiar you will become with these.
Mountain Pose – Standing Yoga Pose
Forward Fold – Forward Bend Yoga Pose
Chair Pose – Strengthening Yoga Pose
Low Lunge – Standing Yoga Pose
Upward Facing Dog – Chest Opening Yoga Pose
Downward Facing Dog – Strengthening Yoga Pose
Child’s Pose – Restorative Yoga Pose
Cat-Cow Pose – Core Yoga Pose
Bridge Pose – Yoga Backbend
Corpse Pose – Restorative Yoga Pose
Many classes will begin with a series of postures to warm, strengthen, and align the entire body called Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation. There are many variations, but this is considered the classic version:
Upward facing dog
Downward facing dog
This is often repeated several times and flows are built upon this initial sequence.
This concludes part 1 oF Yoga Fundamentals. Be sure tomorrow for part 2.
Thank you for taking the time to experience my class – Yoga Fundamentals Facebook Class – Part 1.
Namaste is a way of giving thanks. This gesture is seen as one bows forward with both hands together at the heart.
Let me know if you have any questions – I am here for you!