Styles of Yoga

Yoga has an endless list of poses to pursue and a new edge with each practice. It seems like since it has been truly noticed in the past few years, a new spin on how to do it is presented. There is no right on wrong; you simply practice what feels right for YOU. Personally, I do not connect to any particular "style" of yoga for it is a personal pursuit of discovery. To limit yourself to one way closes doors to different experiences.

Simply speaking for myself, I find that the "hot" yoga is not for me. To practice in elevated temperatures and simultaneously raise the internal body heat is not wise. You do sweat out toxins and get the benefit of better flexibility in heat; however, sometimes you can take your muscles past their edge and increase the micro tears that manifest in the muscle fibers. Practicing yoga in a normal temperature with proper breathing and movement will build the internal heat of body. I am more of a "Buddhist" mindset: "Everything in moderation...even moderation.

It also might be because in the upper 40's, I do not want to take my body to an unexpected edge that has consequences. When you're in your 20's, your body has the ability to endure more, heal faster, and even the spine's venous resources is open to send the blood where it needs to go better. After the 20's, a lot changes. The key is to keep moving. "Move or lose it" is a truth to practice.

Use your yoga practice to truly feel what is going on within the body. Feel the muscles that are tight, breathe into them and let them open up with patience and persistence.

Use your practice to be truly aware of your breathing flowing from place to place. Doing that alone makes you present in the moment. Do it enough in a yoga practice and you will discover yourself doing it off the mat. When that epiphany occurs, you understand more the power of a yoga practice.

As you practice, you will eventually be able to do poses you could not do when you started. This reality applies to all ages. We all start at the same place and all have the experience of doing something for the first time. To give yourself a break mentally from the ego, think of Lao Tzu's words..."Let go of expectations".

The best style of yoga to practice is one without expectations. Just breathe, move, experience the feeling, and feel gratitude for just being with no agenda. You will find that when you set the expectation list aside, a lot more happens. Get the ego and the left hemisphere that has to analyze everything to take a "back seat". It really makes a difference.

Breathe, don't think. Feel, don't question. Move, don't judge. Integrate all three and experience your style...your self...your journey. After all, it is your practice.

Namaste'
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