The middle path

cup of coffee

“Yoga is not for one who eats too much, or for one who fasts too much, nor sleeps too much or sleeps too little, but instead lives in a harmonious flow along the middle path” – Bhagavad-Gita.

In the pub yesterday lunchtime (New Years Day), it was noticeable that the guy serving coffee and other hot drinks was doing a roaring trade. Was it the effect of over-indulgence the night before, or resolutions starting to kick in? Also noticeable just after Christmas was the number of people pounding the pavements. All very laudable, but you wonder how long it will last.

By doing yoga, I’ve found that it’s easier to avoid the extremes and live a more balanced life. I still have a drink, but avoid the excesses (usually!) as I’m much more aware of the negative effect it has on my body. And I still make resolutions, but I tend to look at the bigger picture now, aiming for a healthier, happier lifestyle overall without starting a fitness regime that I won’t keep to.  A little yoga every day keeps me flexible, happy and calm. It’s worth giving it a try ……..

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Yoga for Balance

Man on tightrope
 
“You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
 
 

How do you approach challenging poses?

Do you look round and compare yourself with others and want to do better? Do you push yourself into it and risk injury? Are you cautious and avoid stretching yourself too far? As in yoga, as in life. Through yoga you learn more about yourself and how you approach life. Sometimes you need to hold back and sometimes you need to move to the edge and take more risks. Enjoy exploring yourself on the safety of your mat. Know your strengths and learn where you need to develop more strength and courage.

“Our strength grows out of our weaknesses”, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Developing strength

: physical, mental and emotional

Words for yogaIt’s springtime, and we’re harnessing the energy of the season to invigorate and revitalise. We’re working with strengthening poses, such as the warriors, tiger, cobra. All help to develop physical strength, particularly of the core and back muscles. They also help to develop the qualities of courage, determination and endurance.

If you don’t find them easy, they can teach you something about yourself. We often need a challenge in order to recognise and appreciate our strength. “Yoga practice is like an obstacle race: many obstacles are purposely put on the way for us to pass through”.1 This can be true on the yoga mat and in life. That moment when you think ‘I didn’t think I could do that’.  The challenges are presented to us to help us to develop and grow. Often the poses we find most difficult are the ones that teach us most about ourselves. Challenging situations in life are similar.

1 Swami Satchidananda in Georg Feuerstein’s Yoga Gems