Heat, storms, bugs; outside is a scary place this summer. I work in my garden and walk Ruby, the dog, as early in the day as possible. Mostly, I find myself hiding inside taking advantage of a/c. It's given me time to think about yoga. I've also been enjoying some good books.
Yoga is a lifestyle, not just an exercise. The Yoga Sutras is a collection of the philosophy and beliefs of yoga put together many years BC. They contain morals, ethics and the mental, emotional and physical practices of yoga. My yoga classes focus on only 3 of the components of yoga – breath work, physical practice, and meditation. Yoga practice was originally simple and comfortable. It's now developed into several styles and varying beliefs.
I like to keep our classes easy and gentle, yet still with the option of moving into more challenging modifications. We do gradually build muscle, endurance, balance and alignment. All being very healthy for the body. In this newsletter, I've included 3 simple poses which can be done at anytime.
Props are very helpful for yoga. Some students are great at using them. Other students are hesitant to. Props were used for yoga by BKS Iyengar, a leader in modern yoga. At first, he was ridiculed for using props. However, it is because of his work with props, that yoga became accessible to people of all ages and abilities. Included below is a description of the 4 most common props.
There have been changes to my home studio yoga schedule. Tuesday nights have been removed from the schedule. So my Zoom and home yoga classes only meet on Thursdays. There is also a good chance that the website wisemountainyoga.com will be closed due to unnecessary expenses.
"There is nothing so stable as change." Bob Dylan
Namaste', Sandy Palmer, ERYT200 & RYT500
Using props while practicing yoga is very helpful. Usually, studios have a selection of props. Some people like to use their own. Whatever the case, using props helps beginners get into some poses correctly, keeps the body in alignment, helps with flexibility and deepens one's practice. Props make some poses more accessible and easier. Props can encourage safety as long as the user remembers to keep the practice comfortable and pain free. Props are often used for restorative yoga. The picture was created by my grandchildren playing in my yoga studio. They love the props and make good use of them! There are easy household substitutions for props.
Blankets make nice pillows and knee protection as well as keep you warm. They can be folded into seats and rolled into knee supports. Towels
Let Your Light Shine: How Mindfulness Can Empower Children and Rebuild Communities by Ali Smith, Atman Smith, and Andrés González. This is a book that describes how three men brought yoga and meditation to children at risk in Baltimore. Suspensions were decreased and graduation rates greatly increased. If you have school-aged children or grandchildren, this is an informative and helpful book. For me, it reinforces the benefits of yoga and meditation. https://holisticlifefoundation.org/
Built to Move: The Ten Essential Habits to Help You Move Freely and Live Fully by Kelly Starrett and Juliet Starrett This book discusses the importance of movement and has some great ideas on how to incorporate simple movement into your life. https://thereadystate.com/built-to-move