Getting Started Principles

Before beginning a yoga practice it is good to have some understanding of the basic principles that are foundational to having a positive experience and knowing the mindset from which to approach the postures.

Before beginning a yoga practice it is good to have some understanding of the basic principles that are foundational to having a positive experience and knowing the mindset from which to approach the postures. Hold these principles lightly in your mind…

Physical:

• Start where you are, go at your pace, there’s plenty of time
• Do not do any movement or posture that is painful for you
• If something hurts, back off or stop, especially if it is pain in a joint
• Do not lock your knees, especially if you have a tendency to hyperextend them; micro-bend the knees
• You can always keep the knees slightly bent when moving into and out of the standing postures
• The body will release more with support, use props if you need them
• Make sure to practice the deep relaxation at the end; it allows time for healing, rejuvenating and restoring the body
• Do not get up during Savasana unless you have to
• Balance is a process, not a static point

Feeling Tone:

• Be gentle with yourself
• Do no harm; do not strain or force
• Work within your own limits
• If it feels right, it is right
• Respect your-self
• Listen to your body and your intuition; you are your own best teacher
• Balance firmness and softness
• Approach the postures with an inner attitude joy, ease and a light heart

Breath:

• Breathe smoothly, into the belly, throughout the practice
• Do not hold your breath unless otherwise instructed
• If the breath is strained you are working too hard; find a way to make it easier somehow

Space:

• Turn off phones, beepers, watches; anything that will distract you
• Encourage people you are living with not to interrupt you
• Hold this time as sacred; it is time for you

Mindset:

• Yoga poses are tools for self-exploration, not goals to achieve
• It’s not about perfecting a form
• This is an individual practice; do not compete or compare yourself with anyone else
• It’s not about touching the floor or your toes – it’s about finding a way to practice the pose that is most suitable to your body in this moment
• If you are being present with the feeling of your breath and the sensations in your body you are practicing yoga beautifully
• Yoga is not mechanical
• Keep an inner focus; develop your sensitivity and your ability to feel
• Most activities take energy away from us, yoga gives energy back; it re-energizes us, practice in such a way that it feels energizing and restorative
• Progress not perfection
• Progress by being consistent, slow, steady and attentive
• The goal is to awaken consciousness
• The goal is freedom
• The goal is connection (union) with your-Self

Miscellaneous:

• Watch the videos and follow along; review as needed
• Practice on an empty stomach – 4 hours after a large meal, 2 hours after a light meal; do not eat before class unless you have to
• Quality is better than quantity when beginning a home practice; just do a few postures beautifully, with focus and awareness, on a consistent basis

There is no need to feel overwhelmed by this list. Just easily take it in as best that you can. Reread it from time to time to refresh your memory. Remember to breathe and enjoy the process and it will all unfold beautifully.

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3 thoughts on “Getting Started Principles”

  1. I luv your comment, “if your focusing on your breathe and sensations your practicing yoga beautifully”.
    Beautifully said.
    Also luv the way you teach. Without ego.

    Tracy

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