Yoga is really a time to spend trying to work out what it is that I need to stretch and what angles I need to align in my body in order to let go of tension. The yoga poses really work on calming the mind through focusing on either working out how to do a posture or having good pain like when stretching a muscle that has been tensed up for most of my life.
When I started with Polly it was simply just trying to make at least a class a week whenever I could fit it in and went to all of the different levels of class and then started to regularly attend Tuesday night men's class. The men's class helped take away that feeling of being self-conscious while practicing an art that can never be perfect. Early in we did do head stands in class, but the class is really focused on simple postures that help to get everything into alignment. What I now understand is that taking the time to learn from the beginning through a course or a weekend workshop really helps progress rather than just randomly attending classes.
Besides having a good wind down through yoga, I found that it has helped me with lifting weights at the gym. Without yoga, I used to end up getting really out of alignment and having back and neck pain after a while. I am far more conscious when I am in the gym about how I lift and engaging core strength through posture.
Practically speaking, when we are stiff in our hips and hamstrings our knees and ankles are ‘punished’. At some stage it is better to be accountable/aware of how to work with our hamstrings and hips so that the knees and ankles are able to get on with their work. It’s also the case in twisting poses that people twist into the flexible areas of their spine and in doing so completely miss the area that needs to be ‘accountable’: we are slipping around a stiffness and there will be consequences.
Our yoga classes for children have been running for 4 years and some of the feedback we get from parents and also teachers is amazing and encouraging. Children experience stress for lots of different reasons and yoga helps them to 'discharge' it through physical movements and also through breathing exercises and meditation.
When we go camping, we sit in awe of the magnificence of the mountain, the oceans, the sky. We go there because we recognize that some thing changes within us when we sit quietly within the wonderment of nature. We say "I am different", "I am happier", "I am energized", "I am more content". When we practice yoga we learn to sit in the wonderment of our embodiment. It is our microcosm of the macrocosm of nature. We recognize that being in the power of our own presence is a practice of being at one with the forces of nature.