What to expect during class
Because of the great variety of yoga traditions, and because Yoga District doesn’t take a cookie-cutter approach to yoga, each class will vary depending on the instructor and class style. That said, there are some common elements to many yoga classes:
Centering and intention: We usually start off with a centering practice, such as focusing on the breath or development of awareness while in a relaxation pose or seated meditation. Some teachers might suggest that you “set an intention for your practice.” No, we’re not asking you to set an intention to be the most advanced yoga student in the class. We’re just suggesting that you look inside and set a positive simple intention that will help you during your practice. For instance, your intention might be to breathe with awareness throughout class, be receptive to the teachings, or offer up your practice to your highest Self or God. This is very personal, and very optional.
Warm up: It’s really important to warm the body! Warming up helps prevent injury, makes stretching more enjoyable, and can help burn off desires and unhelpful thoughts. So any active class you take will likely feature a decent warm up, usually involving sun salutations. Every yoga tradition usually has it’s own variation of the sun salutation but, in a nutshell, sun salutations are a short series of postures that are repeated in the same order a few times. Once you become familiar with sun salutations, feel free to do them on your own before class, at home, in the streets…
Ending with final relaxation: Classes can start many different ways, but yoga classes everywhere always end with of savasana (corpse pose. All you have to do is lay down, close your eyes, slow the mind, relax the body. Savasana can help you settle your energy and absorb the benefits of your yoga practice. Try to be still during your savasana. You might wonder why you should relax if you have so much to do and think about; think of it as clearing your kitchen counter before preparing a meal. You need a clean work space to carry out your work, so take the time to clear your mind once in a while. It might take a while for you to learn how to close your eyes and relax in savasana, or it might come naturally – either way, when you allow yourself to relax, you are more receptive to your highest Self. “And remember, the goal is Self Realization!”
- The Science Behind MeditationCan mediation slow the aging process? A team of scientists at the University of California, San Francisco says yes. Read more about it in this article in The Irrawaddy, a […]
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