Tranquil Yoga’s Yogathon
Guelph Humane Society
Saturday, September 26th
9:00am Arrive & Welcome
11:30-12:00 Relaxation & Meditation
12:00-1:00 Zumba Classs
Join us for our first ever Charity Yogathon benefiting the Guelph Humane Society. A Yogathon is a personal challenge, to both your mind & body, to complete 108 repetitions of the Sun Salutation over two hours.
Training for the Yogathon will start June 28th at Tranquil Yoga. Visit our studio for registration form and details.
If you’ve been practicing yoga for any length of time, or have not been living under a rock, you will have experienced or at least heard about the wealth of benefits to be gained from a regular yoga practice. Yoga is not just another exercise class you schedule in between lunch and client briefings.
Your favourite class at your favourite local studio reminds you of this from the moment you roll out your mat to the moment you say Namaste. However, different classes, styles, teachers and studios can leave us struggling to find inspiration and even stealing glances at the clock. Not all give you that “take on the world” kind of bliss that you seek. Furthermore, our bodies are different each day, each downward dog, each twist, and each breath. We simply cannot expect our bodies to move through the poses the same way each day. So what can you do to establish a deeper connection with your practice and get the most out of your classes, regardless of teacher, style, or your body?
Read on, we’ve got you covered!
1. No expectations.
Your teacher will not give you the secret to life. Your tired body will not be able to hold side plank, warrior II or even downward facing dog for 10 full breaths if you were up till the wee hours of the morning answering last weeks emails – don’t expect it to. Moving into each class with an open mind allows you to fully experience the moment instead of wrestling with what you had hoped it to be. So much is out of our control anyway. Dealing with the unexpected is part of the practice. Beginning without expectations gives you a fighting chance. Let it all go, so you can stay.
An intention is about the state of being during, not about the final result. This is a beautiful way to start class. In the middle of your fifth round of Sun Salutation B, when you are sweaty and possibly losing control of your breath, an intention can bring you back to why you came to class in the first place. So pick an intention to keep your mind focused on every breath of the practice. Repeat it. It will bring you back to your peace and your purpose
3. Rushing and Distractions.
Instead of running a yellow light to make to class right on time, try and give yourself 15 extra minutes to settle on to your mat before class begins. This will help you quiet down, stay focused, and settle your minds chatter. Clear away any distractions before you get to class. Don’t wear your cutest yoga top if you have to keep dropping out of crescent pose to pull it down over your belly. The bottom line is, if you’re distracted, you are not present in the practice. It’s that simple.
4. Honour physical limitations and restrictions.
Firstly, no one else but the teacher is looking at you during practice. If you feel like a star floating up into ardha chandrasana, or if it’s your first class, even balancing on one foot might not be in your repertoire yet – it’s all the same journey, so make sure you are there for yourself and yourself only. That being said, tell your instructor if your lower back hurts, or that you have an old shoulder injury. Part of their training is to offer you modifications so that when everyone else presses to upward bow you aren’t capsizing wing because you were too shy or had too much of an ego to speak up about your needs.
5. Honour your inner teacher.
Let the instructor be your guide, but let your inner voice determine your true practice. Your instructors are trained to guide, not drill. You can learn a lot from them, but the ultimate goal of yoga is to strengthen and balance so you can honour your own inner teacher. If something they says resonates, take it in. If something doesn’t, let it go. It’s your practice.
6. Listen to your body.
If you are more concerned about looking good than being good to yourself, you will ignore or not hear your hamstrings when they are screaming at you. Become subtle enough to detect that voice whispering, or breath held and know it is time to drop down to child’s pose. Respect your Self.
7. No Cell Phones…duh.
Respect the time devoted to the practice. Don’t bring devices that connect you to the outside world. Let go of those thoughts that drag you out of the studio and into the office. Take advantage of the time you dedicated to yourself. In yoga, you are nowhere but there, so stressing about how much time is left of class so you can get to the meeting, takes you out of the moment and the yoga is lost.
8.Get a Mat.
Practising consistently on the same mat can teach your body and mind when it is time to relax and chill out. Over time it will become much easier to slip into that calm, anything goes state of breathing and moving each time you unroll your mat. Try a new spot in the room next time – it could give you a new perspective, literally, and possibly transform your entire practice.
Simple, powerful, important: breathe. On the mat, and off, you’ll get more out of whatever you do and think if you inhale and exhale mindfully. It will keep you balanced, grounded, practicing within your capacity, and mostly, will allow you to fully experience and appreciate the moments in your practice.
10. Be grateful.
Feel thankful for getting yourself to the studio, onto the mat, and into the moment. This will help ensure that what you’ve gained in class will remain with you long after you’ve rolled up the mat and walked back into the world.
We’ve added 2 new Zumba classes to our schedule with the amazing Julia Castillo. Classes are every Thursday at 6:45pm and every Saturday at 12 noon. As with all our classes, no experience required, just show up in some comfy clothes and get moving!
Range of Motion – Practising basic yoga postures will help you get low in those squats, open up your hips and aid in the external rotation of shoulders. No matter what your strength, tight muscles can seriously compromise your overall level of fitness.
Focus – In yoga we practice a steady gaze and a focal point known as drishti. This steadiness in motion will help bring tremendous balance and consistency to your workouts.
Efficient Breathing – When you need bursts of speed and power in your workout, you need the deep diaphragmatic breathing that yoga cultivates. With a breath awareness and steady rhythm you learn to link inhales and exhales to each movement. This will directly translate into your ability to workout with more intensity for longer periods of time.
Balance – Balance = Stability. In the gym – In life. Necessary for almost all gym exercises, doing a few key yoga balancing postures will help keep you centred as well as aid in injury prevention.
Lean and Fit – You might think you have a great swell from pumping in the gym, but, what yoga does is lengthen these muscles out, simultaneously improving your posture, making you leaner and maybe even taller.
Relaxation – Life is fast, workouts are intense. It can be a lot to sustain. In order to recover and come back with more power you must rest. The full relaxation that yoga classes provide gives you time to mentally and physically integrate the information from your workouts and your life. You will come back better. Faster. Stronger.
Positioning – Neutral spine, core rotations. Yoga postures are grounded in correct alignment to support each bone, muscle, and most importantly the spine. By learning these postures you will learn to keep the spine neutral, fully engage your core, and of course, become more comfortable when you have to sit for long periods of time.
Great Workout – Yoga is hard. Not supersets and burpees hard, but a strong power yoga class will leave you dripping within the first 5 minutes. However, in yoga, we get to nap at the end; it’s a requirement. You get a vigorous workout and you will leave feeling calm, relaxed and ready for life!
Community – The very word yoga means “to join”, and each class is a continuous give and take of energy between participants. When you come to a full yoga class and connect to the energy, breath, and focus of every person in the room you will in turn experience a greater connection with yourself and the present.
Have Fun – do you love Daft Punk? Nelly? Buffalo? Springfield? There is way more to yoga than chanting and om-ing! We love to get creative and playful in our classes. It’s your time to do what your body needs to do, there’s no telling what we might get ourselves into.
Honestly. Its time you just did yoga. You will get better at working out. You will probably also become a better person.
Your Lost Wholeness
Not making enough use of certain parts of the body causes imbalance and misalignment. The correct practice of Yoga, combined with right lifestyle, can restore the balance on all levels of your being. The purpose of Yoga is to restore the balance in your body, mind and spirit, making you feel fresh and new.
Balancing the Body with Yoga
Would you drive a car that had more air in the tires on the right are less on the left? Definitely not as it reduces the efficiency of the car and increases wear and tear. Yet surprisingly, we do this to our body everyday by exerting unequal pressure on both halves of our bodies. The imbalances in the body are not limited to the right and left halves, but also the front and back of the body.
When we favour one side of the body and continue to utilize one side more than the other, blood circulation and muscles accordingly re-adjust to support the way the body behaves. This causes body aches and pains that one normally experiences in daily life. Regular practice of Yoga can bring back the balance.
How can Yoga Asanas Restore Balance?
A quick Yoga test to find the side you use more:
Let’s do a sideways bend, such as Triangle Pose
Raise your right hand up and bend to the left.
Then do the converse. Take the left hand up and bend to the right.
Did you notice a difference as you stretched on each side?
When you do Yoga Asanas with awareness, you will notice that the body tends to adjust itself to balance both sides. The side on which you bend more tends to strengthen the opposite side. That’s how regular Yoga practice brings back the balance. When the body is balanced, muscle and muscle activities are also balanced. Something as simple as giving equal importance to both sides of the body, can improve the workings of the internal organs.
Yoga has a Deep Impact on our Body
While doing Sun Salutation, you bend and straighten your back; compress and stretch the abdomen. It loosens up all joints, flexes the muscles, massages internal organs, and activates all systems of the body (including the hormonal system). It is interesting to note that Sun Salutation consists of two rounds: if you bring your right leg ahead in the first round, the left leg goes ahead in the next – balancing both sides of the body!
We do not have to be perfectly balanced all the time. For example, most of us use only one hand to write and eat. Nor is our body symmetrical. Some of us know that the heart leans slightly to the left; one lung is bigger than the other. So, some imbalances remain. But the more we balance our body with regular Yoga practices, the healthier we become.