Patanjali Yoga Asanas
As a former collegiate gymnast, most yoga poses have come easily to me. I can do a Handstand with ease and transition from arm balances to inversions gracefully and weightlessly. And if you look at all those photos and videos of me doing the physical practice of yoga or peer at my life from the outside, it might look like I have it made, like I don’t have a care in the world, and I never did. You might also draw the conclusion from those images that I am an “advanced yoga practitioner.”
How Do You Define “Yoga Practice”?
I started the physical practice of yoga as a way to stay in shape. But over time the work for me has become much more about the mechanics of the mind than of the body. My struggles are many, but one of my biggest is chronic anxiety. I’ve lived with it for most of my life. It is a condition that at times has left me paralyzed and almost completely nonfunctional. I tried therapy and drugs with little success. But it wasn’t until my teacher training that I saw a glimmer of hope. The very first night my teacher introduced us to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. “The first sutra is often translated as ‘Yoga is Now.’ Live in the moment fully. If you get that completely and can live it every second, well then, you’re enlightened and you can leave the course, ” he said. “If you can’t do it, then you get to work, you get to practice and to learn to concentrate, and by learning to concentrate really well, you will alleviate much of your suffering.” With that, I was hooked.
I concentrated on everything I could in the moment to stop my mind from bossing me around and keep it from dragging me back to the death grip of anxiety.
And thus began my practice of paying attention and doing hard work to change my patterns. On my mat I would concentrate closely on my alignment and on my movements, inspecting every muscle’s effort and every action so I could teach others to do the things I could do. I looked for patterns in different poses so I could link them together wisely. I studied my limitations in each asana and what I thought others’ limitations would be. I paid attention to where I was lazy and where I overworked. I concentrated on everything I could in the moment to stop my mind from bossing me around and keep it from dragging me back to the death grip of anxiety.
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When I Began To Really Feel Like An Advanced Yogi
I could fly through poses, linking one visually pleasing shape to the next. And to those around me, it may have looked like yoga practice. But real progress came from being present in the moment, concentrating on my alignment and on my efforts. What I began to see is that I am not my thoughts, and my thoughts are not my fault. But if I believe my thoughts and do everything they say mindlessly, that is my fault. I learned to ignore the useless stuff, the injurious stuff, the vicious stuff, the scary stuff and tried to only pay attention to and use the thoughts that would help me be kind, wise, and non-harming.
At the end of the day, the skill of concentration is what yoga really is, and that’s what will change your life.
All of that is work and it’s hard. But it reduced my anxiety tremendously. And when I found meditation and was able to dive even more deeply into my mind, it was then that my anxiety ceased to torment me. At the end of the day, the skill of concentration is what yoga really is, and that’s what will change your life. What makes you a yogi is living in the moment on and off your mat, with kindness and love for yourself and everyone around you—no matter what. That’s yoga and that takes constant practice. The following meditation is one way to start now.
About Our Expert
Southern California’s Alexandria Crow is a teacher and teacher trainer who offers vinyasa flow classes with methodical and challenging sequences that encourage mindful attention. Besides her work inside the pages of Yoga Journal as a model and writer, she’s appeared inYoga Journal’s Fitness Challenge and Total Body Yoga DVDs, as well as Hard Tail Forever’s ad campaigns.What is the meaning of weirdos? Have some composure where is your posture meaning? What does clearance mean? What is the meaning of systemic racism? Tips on how to graph composite functions? What is the meaning of essay? what does the kosmo helper app do What does inspiration mean? How to delete a server on discord? what is a helper called in construction when should i expect a call from ups for my first work day asa seasonal driver helper? What does sacrifice mean? How to make a dwarven light tricks in minecraft? What does bon mean in bridgerton? How to talk to gorls? What is the meaning of guru purnima? What do beauty marks mean spiritually? How to watch game of thrones? What does hazy mean? How to make diamond bolt tips osrs? How to get the tricks of eevee? What does commutation mean? What does pregnancy acne look like? What are preservatives? What is the meaning of negative in pregnancy test? Tips & tricks your must know when painting your house? What is the meaning of circumscribe? What does it mean when an egg floats? What does heart ultrasound show? How to save money fast and coupon tips? What does anal mean? What time does season 10 of apex start? How to graph a parabola? What a ripper meaning? How does below deck mediterranean cast split their tips? How to make doing your own blow out easier hacks tip and tricks? Which quntity is greater gre tricks? How to get mega energy in pokemon go? What causes the tips of a peace lily to turn brown? What does third world country mean? What is the meaning of gnomes? What does 420 mean spiritually? How to tell your husband you're pregnant? How to troubleshoot? How to unblock on facebook? What is the meaning of furloughed? What are 80 to 1 odds? What is btu mean? What does stocks mean? How to get thick? What is the meaning of retrofit? Who took my tips doing long island uber? What does it mean to straddle someone? How to restart puberty growth? What coordinates are diamonds in minecraft? How does mat franco do his tricks? What time does mall close? How much do waitresses make in tips a day? What time does wrestlemania start 2022? What does toss the salad mean? What is the meaning of the name jaden? Tips for having black hair when youre a natural blonde? Who's whose meaning? How to cook sausage on stove? What is cla? How to pay less taxes? Research on clean eating tips and how it will improve your health? How to roll up sleeves? How to send bitcoin? What is the meaning of taka? How to deactivate facebook page? What is the meaning of resume in job application? What is the meaning of romanticism? What is the meaning of smegma? How to clean white sneakers? a helper helps because they know how it feels to be helpless What re some tricks for snapchat? What is a cyclone? What is the meaning of momentous? How to relieve pressure in head? how to install alexa helper and nest What is the meaning of the name lachlan? How to share screen? What is the meaning of meme stock? What is albedo? What does the word math mean? what would happen if a person could not make v cells or helper t cells How to dance cumbia? How to do a calorie deficit? why are there so many instances google chrome helper in mac activity monitor When will i see tips in post mates? What is the meaning of seeing vulture in dream? What does freedom mean? What times does mcdonald's stop serving breakfast? How to update drivers? How do i know what size my dart tips are? Tips on how to stay committed to exdous 90? How long do i need to quarantine? What does kiss and cry mean at the olympics?