I Recently Started Taking Yoga Classes at Gilbert Yoga...Here are 6 things that surprised me the most!
A delightful testimony by Heather Lynn, an ode to beginners' mindset!
"For years, I dabbled with online yoga classes and sporadically attended in-person classes. But yoga never felt right for me. That all changed when I attended my first class at Gilbert Yoga, and now I’m hooked. Here’s what I learned:
1. It was easier than I expected.
I was amazed at how quickly the 70-minute class flew by. The yoga teacher offered modifications, while also demonstrating the poses. It turns out, I don’t need to be all that flexible (although I feel myself gaining more flexibility each class).
2. My lack of experience worked in my favor.
Since so much of this is brand new for me, I haven’t yet developed any bad habits. My lack of experience simply means that I’m learning poses the correct and safe way.
3. The friendly, accepting environment reduced my self-consciousness.
Everyone–teachers and students–are warm and inviting; it’s felt each time I enter the studio. No matter how many people are in class with me, I feel a sense of belonging. I never feel singled out, yet the teacher is very attentive to individual needs. The lack of judgment has really helped me to become more confident and explore more challenging poses (which boosts my confidence on and off the mat).
4. I immediately saw a positive difference in my sleep patterns.
I’m falling asleep more easily and staying asleep. I wake up feeling rested, without the morning body aches. And I have more energy throughout the day. Need I say more?!
5. My new body awareness: my body really craves to stretch and breathe.
Funny thing: the more I practice yoga, the more my body wants to move. Tight muscles aren’t so tight anymore, my back doesn’t ache. In fact, just the opposite! My body feels stronger from the inside out, and my posture has significantly improved.
6. Gilbert Yoga has classes 7 days each week, so it is easy to fit yoga into my schedule.
Not only does Gilbert Yoga offer classes all 7 days of the week, there are plenty of class offerings so I can choose what’s best for my schedule. Speaking of variety, there is literally something for everyone–from Beginners to All Levels and everything in between."
Improve Your Mental Clarity With these 3 Easy Breathing Techniques
Breath is a simple, yet powerful tool that can be used to combat stress and improve mental clarity. Nadi Shodhana, Sama Vritti, and Brahmari, are great pranayama (breathing) techniques to stabilize and ground us, allowing mind and body to relax.
Next time you find yourself disconnected from mind/body, overwhelmed, anxious, or your mind buzzing with a thousand things, try one of these easy breathing techniques.
Also known as Alternate Nostril Breathing, Nadi Shodhana improves our ability to focus, removes toxins, and supports our respiratory functions.
In Sanskrit, Nadi means “channel” and Shodhana means “purification.” In other words, this pranayama purifies, or clears, the channels of the subtle and physical body, and brings balance to the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
Nadi Shodhana can be practiced anytime and almost anywhere. It’s especially good to practice before a high stress situation (like a presentation or job interview) or before meditation.
In Sanskrit, Sama Vritti means same or equal. It is the practice of steady inhalation and exhalation of equal length. Sama Vritti balances the central nervous system and engages the parasympathetic nervous system to aid us in soothing, centering, and calming the mind.
Sama Vritti is an excellent pranayama technique for anyone and can be done almost anywhere at any time.
Brahmari in Sanskrit means “bee,” so named because the exhalation resembles the sound of a bumble bee.
Brahmari is a soothing breath technique for both the gut and heart, and is good for respiratory congestion. The humming stimulates the vagus nerve, which is responsible for the Rest, Digest, and Restore part of our parasympathetic nervous system.
Because of the buzzing sound, you might not choose to practice Brahmari in public. If you’re out somewhere and experience anxiety, look for a relatively private place, like your parked car or a bathroom.
Plank Pose –or Kumbhakasana– is a foundational yoga posture. This grounding position strengthens the arms and wrists, while also helping to improve posture by activating the abdominals and engaging the spinal muscles.
Kumbhakasana comes from the Sanskrit words "kumbhak," which means "breath retention," and "asana," which means "pose." In a traditional sun salutation, Plank position is practiced while the breath is suspended just before lowering through chaturanga dandasana.
While Plank is an essential part of Sun Salutations, it can also be practiced on its own to build stamina, strength, and mental endurance.
It’s important to always listen to your body and work within your abilities...
Those of us with wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck, or back issues should practice with the appropriate modifications for your body!
You might find yourself practicing plank posture in any of our more vibrant weekly asana classes:
Written by Heather Lynn Horvat
655 N Gilbert Road
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