Finding time for Yoga Practice

How do we find time to practice yoga regularly?

I have been searching for answers to this question ever since i started working … Work really does take up a lot of time. Like many others, I hesitated before I commit myself to a yoga studio and then I hesitated again when i wanted to take up the Yoga Teacher Training… It was then, i decided to take a leap and signed up for the Yoga Teacher Training with the mindset that “I will make time for this.”

I am grateful for the decision i made and the chance to meet all the amazing batchmates alongside, practicing yoga during the weekends. It is never about how busy we all are, it is about how much time we are willing to make, to commit to the things we want to do.

I explored for ways and learnt to find time for the things I always wanted to do. So i mapped out my thoughts… The main question i asked myself was “Why will i not have time to do something that i want to do?”. My answers seemed more like excuses because I could find resolutions to all my own answers after some time. Let me quickly share my thoughts: Finding Time to Commit (Ange)

I am prepared for times where I find myself struggling to fulfil certain commitments (i.e. weekly/focused practice). I assure myself that it is perfectly fine because I am not giving up on practice. Sometimes, I just had to make time for something else. 

There is a difference between (a) not committing to practice because… and; (b) committing to practice however …

Most importantly, never give up practicing if it is what we want to do regularly. Keep finding ways to make it work.

Finding time is possible.

Guidelines for Lesson Planning (Beginners)

Looking for a beginner yoga lesson planning inspiration?
Read below tips to stay inspired when developing lesson plans for beginners!

 

I was exploring for many ways to create a lesson plan for beginners as part of my assignment … How do i spark interest in those who’ve never tried yoga?

There are some pointers to consider when creating lesson plans for beginners, especially for beginners who’ve never tried yoga before. Below could be some tips to capture the hearts of students:

 

Venue

Yes! Venue can influence how a person feels when he is in class. An outdoor space can potentially boost the energy level of students as compared to an indoor studio. For morning classes, students may be more motivated to attend classes conducted in an outdoor setting (in a garden/park) with a gentle flow because of the serenity and the fresh air. For afternoon classes, students may prefer an indoor setting with a more energetic flow.

Anatomical Focus

Wondering what does it mean by anatomical focus? Depending on the style of the class, anatomical focus help the students to be more aware and conscious during practice. For such therapeutic classes (i.e. hip-opening / back-bending), hamstrings, etc.), students will be able to improve flexibility for the intended area of focus. Additionally, identifying focus areas can help teachers to sequence and select the yoga poses to be taught during the lesson!

Adjustments

Beginners will definitely need the help and support of the teacher through adjustments. Correcting their postures allow them to feel the muscles they have to contract/relax during the various poses. For longer term benefits (i.e. minimize injuries), teachers should focus on fundamental alignments when teaching the beginners.

Accessories

For beginners, accessories such as straps and blocks should be available during practice. Otherwise, teachers may want to consider modifying to a less ‘demanding’ pose if blocks might not be available for the student to garner additional support. Students can also use towels as a substitute for straps.

 

Beside the above tips, having the passion to teach will naturally enhance the vibes of the class.
Beginners will be attracted to the class’ energy and feel good after the practice!

Relax, practice and be yourself.

Overcoming the Fear of Inversions

Here’s to everyone who is trying to overcome their fear of inversions.

It’s perfectly normal to fear inversions. Even seasoned practitioners still feel the fear sometimes. When i first started practicing inversions, I was afraid of the judgement around me. I was afraid of possible injuries and i was afraid that i might not be able to practice again.

So … first thing, PRACTICE SAFELY.

 

How to practice safely?
There are many ways to practice inversions safely. Below are some of the ways attempted by myself:

  • Practice together with a friend and support each other
  • Lay cushions (or similar) around you
  • Practice against a wall and away from the wall (so that you don’t create a dependency on a wall for inversions)
  • Practice the techniques of inverting in a swimming pool

 

How to conquer the fear?
Below are the secrets to conquering the fear of inversions, now read carefully and remember them… 

 

1. Take Small Steps 
It’s all about stability achieved in a step-by-step basis. Never rush for an inversion, the chances of falling over could be much higher! For headstands, start slowly with bent knees and build up the core and balance. Keep calm and balance.

 

2. Mental Preparation
Yes! Preparing yourself mentally before you proceed to practice inversions can be helpful. Kind and courageous words to yourself before engaging in any inversion practice makes the entire process a more positive one. Try saying to yourself, ‘Today, I am going to focus and focus and focus… 
Then, i am going to lift off my feet with my strong core and shoulders and stay balanced for 5 seconds. I can do this!”

 

3. Plan to Fall
Having a plan to fall keeps yourself prepared for the fall (it happens, no running away from this). Everyone falls during the learning journey… who doesn’t? Common ways for falling out of inversions are back bends or cartwheels (use arms to support). Never ever land hard on your spine! Practice falling to gain the confidence for inversions. Yes… start learning how to fall.

 

4. Review and Improve
There are always room for improvements! Try to take videos of yourself during practice, so that you can identify the areas for improvements later. Up till now, I still take videos of myself when i practice inversions. This is to look at my own alignment and to ensure that I’ve engaged the muscles that i need to engage (i.e. core, tucked in hips, keeping my back straight, etc.).  This method works effectively and it allows me to be more aware of my own movement during inversions. It gives me a visual of how i would look like, and for my mind to focus on engaging the correct muscles. Try it!

 

Lastly, be patient and keep practicing. Practice makes perfect.