Creating healthy habits can be difficult for many of us. Establishing a regular time to practice Yoga is one of the primary keys to benefiting fully from this ancient system of physical postures, pranayama exercises and meditation techniques. For instance, engaging in a thirty-minute practice several times a week, or even daily, will benefit you much more fully than a longer Yoga practice of two hours or more, once in a blue moon. When I was first starting to practice Yoga on a consistent basis, I didn’t believe that this was true! I would wonder to myself why a practice that is 2 to 3 hours in length, once a week, would not benefit me more fully than a 30-minute practice on a daily basis?
As I experimented with creating healthy habits and my own personal Yoga practice, I began to notice that the advice of the experienced teachers around me was actually correct. My strength and flexibility grew much more quickly when I practiced asanas on a daily basis, even if my practice was much shorter than my usual 2 hour, marathon Yoga practice on a Sunday afternoon. I have found that a daily practice of Yoga postures, pranayama exercises and meditation techniques helps to keep my mood positive and to improve my strength and flexibility dramatically. The opposite is also true, when I do not practice daily, my strength and flexibility begin to decrease notably.
The Importance of Balance
According to the ancient Indian wisdom of Ayurveda, all physical and mental disease originates from a state of unbalance. An unbalanced state often develops when we ignore our own inner wisdom and indulge in unhealthy practices, according to the Ayurvedic concept of Prajnaparadha. One of the primary ways of healing all disease is through re-establishing a state of balance by following a regular daily rhythm, including a regular Yoga practice. In addition, eating, sleeping and working at regular times helps the body and mind to flow with the rhythm of the day, without undue stress and agitation.
By following a balanced daily schedule that includes regular times for meals, working, socializing, and resting, your body and mind will be able to relax and you will be able to rejuvenate your vital life force. In the same way, establishing a regular daily time to engage in a Yoga practice is one of the primary keys to benefiting fully from this ancient system’s ability to maintain physical and emotional balance and well being. If you are a Yoga teacher, emphasizing the importance of establishing a regular daily schedule to your students, including a regular time to practice postures, breathing exercises and meditation techniques, is imperative if your students are to truly benefit from this ancient healing system.
The first step to creating healthy habits and really impressing your students about the importance of a regular Yoga practice are to engage in a regular Yoga practice yourself! If you find that you are very busy trying to fit in all of your daily activities, taking some time to formally write out a daily schedule may help you to prioritize and compartmentalize your time more efficiently. If you take the time to write out a daily schedule for yourself, you will most likely be more aware of when you get off track and do not allow yourself enough time to eat or rest, for example. This awareness will allow you to make the necessary schedule adjustments, when possible, so that you can establish balance in your life.
As a Yoga teacher, when you experience the full benefit of a regular daily practice of asanas, pranayama exercises and meditation techniques, you will be much more able to communicate how necessary and important a regular, balanced Yoga practice is to your students. Additionally, by taking time to explain the importance of a establishing a regular daily rhythm to your students, you’ll be further supporting your students in living a life filled with more ease and balance, according to Ayurvedic principals. The ancient Ayurvedic wisdom of Prajnaparadha specifically extols the absolute necessity of establishing balance in our daily rhythm, both on and off the Yoga mat, in order to restore physical and mental health and well being.
Virginia Iversen, M.Ed, has been practicing and studying the art of Yoga for over twenty years. She lives in Woodstock, New York, where she works as a writer and an academic support specialist. She is currently accepting Yoga and health-related writing orders and may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Copyright – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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