Do Yoga, Skip the Rest. ™
Dearest reader, It’s National Yoga Month. I am excited to share from moments inside yoga teaching classes and other thoughts that might entice you to consider buying your first yoga mat. B.K.S. Iyengar stated, “Yoga is when every cell in the body sings the song of the soul, ” and yoga teacher Jason Crandell shared “Yoga shines the light of awareness into the darkest corners of the body.” These two quotes exemplify what is so powerful about yoga.
YOGA TEACHING MOMENTS
What I love about teaching yoga is meeting others on their yoga mats. It’s like we have all arrived to pay attention and to be present with one another. I ask my yoga students to use their minds-eye to connect deeper with what’s going on in their body. I ask them, if they can identify any aches or pains that need extra attention? If so, let’s breathe deep and find release.
Next, we breathe. We sit cross-legged with our hips comfortable to begin:
Relax the face muscles, the jaw line, the space right between your eye brows.
Soften your gaze. Relax your shoulders. Align your neck with the spine. Breathe.
Let’s breathe together in silence for a few more cycles of breath.
We sit in silence and breathe together. There is a thread linking all of us as one. We breathe. We sit. We stretch. We become reflective. We pause. After the mini-meditation is completed, everyone takes three deep breaths. These deep breaths consists of inhaling through the nose with audible exhales through the mouth, almost like a deep sigh. The objective is to release any tension we might be feeling from the outside world. These three breaths also bring us together in sound. On the last breath, I give everyone an opportunity to OM or take an audible exhale. I never know if the OM will be loud or silent. Sometimes there is a gorgeous baritone sound beaming through the OM with strength. Sometimes the OM can be subtle like a whisper beneath our lips. If the OM is soft, it’s more in touch with the feeling of peace and gratitude filling the room.
Different Yoga Classes that I teach Weekly:
From teaching gentle stretch, yin yoga, restorative and power yoga, each type of yoga has a similar impact:
Feeling more peaceful and at ease in their bodies.
Highlighted Benefits from practicing Yoga:
The muscles are stretched.
The body has been replenished with fresh oxygen.
There is a heighten awareness of mindfulness.
I am often asked which yoga is the best yoga to practice from a student? My response, is always any yoga.
The original name was GENTLE YOGA TV. I remember choosing this name because I know from teaching gentle yoga it’s easier for a new person practicing yoga.
YOGA FOR THE BEGINNER
Why gentle yoga? Because it more accessible to the masses. It’s a slower rhythm. Gentle Yoga requires a soothing voice with a soft approach in instruction. The body benefits from destressing, while giving the nervous system a break. Through the tranquil stretching, a person can unplug. By practicing gentle yoga, one begins to become aware of their body. The practitioner remains quiet as they focus on stretching. The transitions are slower in gentle yoga. Anxiety is released. It’s a peaceful retreat from life’s worries. In addition,
“Yoga takes you into the present moment. The only place where life exists.”
I hope you learn to love yoga. I hope you live yoga. I hope you become a lifelong student of yoga. I hope someone new will take the plunge into the great beyond away from the daily grind. You don’t need to buy a plane ticket or go to India. Just buy a yoga mat and begin today.
Machel (Ma-shel) Shull
Yoga Teacher & Author