photo credit: Kara Block Creative
yoga tips for anyone with a beginning yoga practice
Over the past year we have collected some great yoga tips from a few of our teachers in the evolation collective. These tips are here for anyone with a beginning yoga practice. The advice given here is a little different that what we offer in our standard posture mechanics; in a effort to show that yoga is both physical and mental. If you can grasp, and later use, these helpful tips in your daily practice, then you will start to see a transformation happen in your yoga practice from within.
We usually publish one of these tips in each of our themed newsletters each month. If you would like more conscious yoga tips, then email either Ryan or Lou about getting onto Evolation’s mailing list.
practice yoga with inclusion: Zefea Samson, co-founder of evolation yoga
Yoga and inclusiveness are daily life-long practices that we can practice on and off our mat. Yoga celebrates health, promotes well being and inclusiveness; remember that when you are struggling and striving to get into a more advanced pose, the importance is not on the look of the posture, but on the way it makes you feel. We need to practice yoga and understand that there is no competition in yoga, that yoga is for everyone in all shapes and forms and only the breath, the body, the mind (and their relatedness) exist.
practicing yoga with Self love: Jelena Lepesic, hot yoga teacher trainer
As a student, I practice self love by accepting my body and mind’s limitations, before attempting to change anything. The more accepting I am, the more it feels like the yoga practice does the practicing for me. As I observe and let it happen, I grow more in love with who I am.
As a teacher, I experience self love through remaining humble and reminding myself that I wouldn’t be a teacher if the students weren’t present. This makes me deeply appreciate my role as a teacher.
practicing yoga with authenticity: Jessica Lawson, flow yoga teacher trainer
In yoga it is always important to honor our bodies and where we are today in this moment in time. Everyday is different and everybody is unique. It is important to remain true to what you need, practicing from a space that calls to you, not always pushing the limits or backing off.
Finding the place where you connect to what you need. We know what our bodies and our minds need, when we take the time to listen and connect we can access our true self and practice authentically.
photo credit: Kara Block Creative
practicing stillness in a beginning yoga practice: Leticia Leyva, evolation yoga teacher
Work to find that place of active engagement and stillness in the peak of your posture by really bringing your focus and awareness to the breath. Allow the calm steady flow of your inhales and exhales seduce you deeper into the depth of stillness. It truly is an intimate dance of breath and focus that makes this practice what it is so allow yourself to further explore the depths of your inner self by connecting with the breath and then just, be still.
awareness yoga tip in the practice: Lou Stokes, evolation yoga teacher
As I practice I like to take time to notice the space between the postures with the same awareness as when I am in the actual postures themselves. The stillness in between the postures helps me to become more aware and notice the space between my inhales and exhales, more aware of my state of mind and the space between my thoughts. Yoga is like a journey and if you fill it with pauses and awareness it is much more fulfilling than a journey rushed to reach the end goal without taking a moment to pause and notice.
practicing yoga with dedication: Ryan McCourt, evolation yoga teacher
Dedication is a state of being, a sacred offering whether it be to yourself or to another. Dedication in your practice is giving time and space to yourself, it means to be there, where you are, wholeheartedly and to follow your breath, it means coming back to your mat again and again even when it gets challenging or tiresome, mentally and physically.
Dedication in teaching is being fully present, being there for your students, guiding your students, encouraging your students, dedicating your time and space to them just like you do for yourself in your own practice.
self reflective practicing yoga tip: Lou Stokes, evolation yoga teacher
Self reflection is the way we apply the knowledge of yoga to our bodies and our own lives. When you are in your beginning yoga practice, advanced, or lifelong practice, use the exercise of self reflection to let go of your negative beliefs and thoughts that are not serving you. By peeling off these layers you will find your true essence, which is pure love and non-judgement.
photo credit: Kara Block Creative
finding truth in your yoga practice: Jeannie Savage, evolation yoga teacher
To experience truth in your practice, and allow that truth to flow into your life, you need to be aware of the temporary truth. It’s important to acknowledge that your truth can change. One day your body tells you that you can do more than ever before and the next day your body says hold back, stay here. What might have been easy yesterday might be impossible today. There is no need to stress in these changing experiences, instead allow your breath to be your anchor, to slow you down, to see more, and to hear what the truth is in each moment. Be, and hold, true to yourself in those moments whether it is on or off your yoga mat. Be realistic with yourself and realize that shi(f)t happens.
patience tip in a yoga practice: Lou Stokes, evolation yoga teacher
In my yoga practice I have no other intention apart from being sincere with myself, to connect to how I am feeling and where I am at in that very moment. There is a lack of attachment which becomes an open door for patience. I feel this kind of patience in my yoga practice, a patience that is not waiting for anything, it’s just naturally patient.
breath in a yoga class: Leticia Leyva, evolation yoga teacher
As we practice, the key to going deeper within a posture is the breath. Inhaling gives you more space in the body as you expand your belly, ribcage, and chest. Then comes the exhale which allows for more depth within the posture, as you contract the abdominal muscles and stretch deeper into your muscles.
It is a dance, a marriage, between inhales and exhales of equal length and strength, creating balance in the body. The goal and focus should be to maintain the same calm, steady, rhythm of breath throughout the entirety of your practice – no matter what level of intensity the posture requires.
being present in the yoga room: Ryan McCourt, evolation yoga teacher
A good way I’ve found to stay present while practicing is to choose one muscle and focus on it and only it for the entire class. When my attention strays, I bring it back to that one muscle. When in a posture that the muscle I’ve chosen should be engaged, I try to flex it a little more. Pushing my limits a little further, seeing what that change will do for me. When I am in a posture that requires that muscle to relax, I focus on releasing it even deeper and seeing how far I can go.
Bringing awareness to one muscle at a time has proven a valuable tool for me to relinquish all other thoughts and stay present. With it, I also gain in depth knowledge about what that muscle should be doing throughout the class – helping me in future practices.
practicing yoga with responsibility: Jeannie Savage, evolation yoga teacher
As a student it is your responsibility, and in the best interest of those around you and yourself, for the space to be safe. You contribute to the space that is shared at the studio and in class. Realizing this will bring you more awareness to your placement in the room, your conversations, your appreciated silence in the class. Take responsibility not only to avoid talking in class, but by moving with intention throughout class and when walking out at the end.
By focusing on your breath you give yourself the space to connect with your body and not be bound by the limitations of your mind. You are the one in your body so you need to know how to listen to it, whether that means backing off, staying still or pushing more. Try to combine this responsibility to your Self and all of your classes.