By Faye Martins
One of the interesting aspects of teaching Yoga is finding out how many students actually take their practice home with them. Most students give honest feedback through a show of hands or a survey. My point is that some students won’t practice meditation, pranayama and asana on their own, while others will practice almost daily. The reasons for this can vary depending on the results experienced, the student’s desire to practice, how much spare time a student has to practice, and many other factors.
Yoga training offers students a wonderful escape from the stresses of modern life, but at some point, students need to discover ways to apply what they learn on the mat to other aspects of their lives. A teacher maybe programmed to practice before or during a Yoga certification course, but students might not lean on meditation, pranayama and relaxation techniques right away. Long-term practitioners are likely to use every aspect of Yogic methodology and philosophy in daily life, but beginners will tend to lean on the physical senses, which make asana practice beneficial.
Asana in Life
The flexibility that dedicated and regular practice of asanas offer help students go about their daily lives with less injury. Forward bends help strengthen the back so that when a person bends over there is less chance of suffering a back injury. Regularly practicing sitting and standing twists gives students a larger range of motion, which can make backing the family car out of the garage much easier.
Yoga offers students a chance to discover where they may be holding tension and stress within their bodies. Many students are shocked to learn that they are holding tension in their hips, so poses such as Downward Facing Dog help release the stress while strengthening the entire body.
As Time Goes By
As students face more and more stress at the workplace, it’s important that they learn effective ways to deal with the stress. Yoga teaches us to unleash stress through deep breathing, and medical science supports the idea that deep cleansing breathing helps to lower blood pressure and cortisol levels in the body.
Yama and Niyama in Practice
In addition to the physical, Yoga offers students a spiritual path, even for those who claim no religious affiliation whatsoever. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras offer a code of living with others that can be followed no matter what one’s religious affiliation. Practicing non-violence or harm to one’s self (including surrendering to low self esteem or depression) encourages a student to practice a form of compassion for every person they meet. And holding ones-self to a code of honesty towards others and within one’s yoga practice helps students avoid false relationships or veer toward a path of lying or stealing from others. Samadhi encourages a student to practice unity not only within the confines of his or her meditation but oneness with the Universe itself.
The lessons students learn on the Yoga mat are easily transferred to their everyday lives. Yoga training can help make movement and stress relief easier for students as they progress through their practices. In addition, yogic principals can form a basis of a spiritual practice that students can follow in their asanas, meditation periods and in any aspect of their everyday lives.
© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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