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Is it Yoga? Is it acrobatics? Is it mere lunacy?

Is it Yoga? Is it acrobatics? Is it mere lunacy?

Well, I would say it’s a good mixture of all of them.

Last year I would have never dreamed of doing a straddlepress handstand as I was only learning to stand on my hands without the wall for more than 5 seconds (which is already pretty satisfying if you ask me). So what I’m trying to say is, yes it sounds stereotypical, but I have never felt this proverb to be more true than now.

The journey is its own reward.

I have learned lots of things on the way to the press, whether it be patience, the joy of falling or rather failing or stamina, which I often times lack in other aspects of my life. At whichever supposedly difficult posture (or as Yogis call it “Asana”) we look at, we can learn so much from breaking it down and being patient with our own bodies before actually achieving the “end” (is there ever an absolute end) posture.

The more time we give ourselves to understand how our body is supposed to move, the better we memorize it and are able to improve from the bottom up. Forcing ourselves to do a posture without really grasping the whole essence is not the way to go and I had to learn it the ‚hard‘ way in being patient, kind and compassionate towards my body until it finally understood HOW it’s supposed to move in the PRESS! Now I can’t get enough of it and I keep practicing it almost daily as there is still so much room for improvement. The next step is integrating it into my classes and showing my students or whoever wants to learn it how to build strength and flexibility (both are equally important in the press) to get to their goal and I love seeing these bright faces when they come closer to them.

Also, there is a fine line between what actually IS Yoga and what’s just crazy moves. First of all – does it really matter? As long as we feel good, we can call it whatever we want.
Secondly, I think it all depends on your mindset. If you want to approach it in a ‚Yogic‘ way, practicing compassion towards yourself and patience and using your breath to control movement rather than the other way round then Yes, I guess you could technically call it Yoga.
Apart from that, just step on your mat, calm down and enjoy what you are doing. Whether that is sitting on the floor for an hour and meditating or jumping around doing crazy stuff, just enjoy yourself, at least that’s what I do 🙂

These were my rare 2 cents – have a good weekend and hopefully see you soon.

Cheers!
Carolina

I’m not flexible enough for Yoga

I frequently hear the phrase: “I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible.”

This is an important topic to address and I’d like to give you some reasons for why this is exactly why yoga IS good for you.

Firstly, I can totally relate to that feeling of being inflexible and that this might scare you off of yoga! But I think it goes without saying: Flexibility, like everything else in life, comes if you practice it.

I also used to be extremely stiff before I started with yoga. My back, as well as my hamstrings, would feel tight in every yoga pose.

One of my tips for every beginner is to close your eyes in seated stretches. This will help you focus solely on yourself. (The temptation of comparing yourself with a neighbor will be taken away from you too.  )

You can also always bend the knees in any hamstring stretch. Not only will that make the pose feel more comfortable, but it will also allow you to keep your back straighter.

Furthermore, find out which are the tight areas in your body and imagine to exhale into these spots- releasing tension breath by breath.

Sometimes it’s not just the tight muscle area but the mind that doesn’t allow you to go deeper into poses. Give yourself time to learn how to relax both, mind and muscles. This will be a very essential skill in every day life!

I hope that if you were worried about your flexibility I could give you some reasons to try yoga. And with trying I don’t just mean to go to one yoga class, but to do yoga for at least a month. If you don’t like the first yoga class, you might also think about trying different yoga styles and teachers. Keep in mind that the first classes, no matter how well the teacher works for you, might be frustrating as you are doing something completely new. But let’s be honest every beginning is challenging. Once you’ve “survived” the first few classes though I’ll promise that you’ll feel the benefits of the practice!

Yours. Kate