This Yoga Guide is our gift to you to help you during your yoga journey to live it in a proper, fully and meaningful way. We are aware of how the fitness world has changed these days and how competitive it can be to compare yourself to the tons of several fitness influencers and yogi you see all over the internet on your social media, every single day.
This e-book is your guide to boost some fun and respect for your practice, your body, and your soul. Most of all this is going to be your reminder of why you should keep going, stick with your practice and why and how this is going to really change your life for good.
This guide will be your gentle reminder you need to feel both supported and driven to get better in time and to motivate yourself to really explore your body in every single way, trying to learn how to really listen to it and honor it in an intimate, kind, caring and gentle approach.
This is your own journey. Rely on your body, add the right mood to help you all along the process and be thankful for what you can do and respect what you still can’t do. A little goes long away! We really wish you can find your way towards the best version of yourself.
Why yoga can be a life-changing discipline
Yoga teacher training in Rishikesh can really change your mindset, your attitude towards life and boost your health inside out. But why you should totally have some yoga in your life? Let’s find it out together with this easy-to-follow list dedicated to the main goals and benefits of this ancient precious discipline.
Yoga improves every aspect of your life
Yoga allows you to embrace a better lifestyle, literally! With this, we do not mean that your life undergoes huge alterations.. not at all. Things that are going to change are few and small, but they have a profound impact on how you live your life.
If you feel better physically, mentally and spiritually, the result is that you live a happier life with both yourself and the others. This discipline provides you several precious techniques to improve memory, your ability to concentrate, and above all, allows you to eliminate stress improving your working productive life too.
Thanks to the amazing yogic breathing technic you will be able to control your emotions and to manage stress and pressure in a wise, smart and healthy way.
Tone up your body
One of the main principles on which yoga is based is prana, which in Sanskrit means energy. According to yoga, all physical problems are due to energy blocks of prana that cannot flow freely in certain areas.
Thanks to the practice of asanas, and especially to a well-balanced and mixed combination of both pranayama and movement, there is a gradual revival of this energy that has been dormant for many years and the first consequence of this is an increase in vitality, so you will feel full of energy and ready to really live your life in an active and motivated mood, all over again.
Yoga positions allow prana to flow freely throughout the entire body and all energy blocks are left free to flow and to empower themselves. Thanks to this principle, you can get in shape in no time. But you have to relax in the positions and, although this may seem easy, it is not at all. Of course to get in shape in a meaningful and complete way you need constant practice, commitment, and an open mind. Great results cannot be achieved unless big sacrifices are made.
It allows you to find a mental balance to better deal with problems
Let’s start with the fact that all the problems that arise from life are not real. Our mind perceives them as problems because it is unstable and does not know what to do. But if you have a shiny, reactive, and above all stable mind you can see everything more lucidly.
This clarity brings not only to see the problems for what they really are, that is, momentary situations, but it allows you to react in the right way. How many times in your life did you react badly because you thought a problem was much more serious than what eventually turned out to be? It is so usual! Yoga allows you to find incredible emotional stability that allows you to deal with problems for what they really are: temporary situations that will pass.
The bodily nuisance and the small pains you have during the practice of asanas are just like the difficulties that arise on a daily basis. If you face them with commitment, you will accept them, relaxing and, with a little patience, they will disappear. This is basically what happens in our lives because of everything we need to face and go through: fear of the future, instability of the present, fear of losing what you have, these are the main worries that torment all people in the world. These are usually caused by money, work, home or family.
All of us at the end of the day are facing the same problems. Yoga offers us a very simple solution: it teaches us to be strong mentally and to be able to adapt to any situation. By controlling the breath and body, with time you will be able to control your mind o much better, and this control is an indispensable tool to deal with any situation you expect.
Yoga is a journey within oneself
When you start doing yoga teacher training, you usually think that you just have to make some challenging position and the game is done. Soon you will understand that the purpose of the practice is not to make a certain asana or finding your balance on your own head in a crazy headstand as many people may think.
One of the main ancient goals of yoga is to get to know each other better and to continually improve ourselves. Right from the first days, they start to find new things about themselves that they did not know before: I have a pain in that area, the two sides of the body are unbalanced, I cannot concentrate on what I do without thinking of anything else and so on …
It’s just that a wonderful trip is on its way to really start.
Then, slowly you realize that some areas of the body exist and that are more alive than ever, that if you deal with the pain and you work constantly you can defeat it. But once you are over a problem here comes another one on which you have to work. And so the path continues. All over again.
It’s a real journey to discover yourself that is going to last forever. But where does this path go? It will take you a lot further than you can imagine. The physical, mental and spiritual benefits that you experience with constant practice are incredible and go far beyond touching your toes as many unfortunately think.
Yoga makes you free
When you think about freedom you often think of economic freedom and the power to do whatever you want. The freedom that yoga can give to you is totally different. We are talking about mental and physical freedom. Freedom to the other level of things.
Physical freedom means not to suffer and to be completely fit. If you are physically ill you are not free because you are a slave to your body and your mind is also deepen conditioned.
If you are a slave to your intellect instead, all of your choices will be conditioned by external factors that you cannot control.
Being mental means making decisions without mental filters that condition us every day. Learning to live in freedom is a very long process that requires us to free ourselves from the habits of the body, the emotions, and the mind. Yoga allows you to live fully, taking literally the control of your life.
Yoga for a better life: the 8 rules for a transformative journey
We firmly believe that many things that can be learned during a yoga class can really affect our lives on several daily moments and occasions, bringing tremendous benefits to our lives. Yoga practice is only one hour a day when we are alone with ourselves, with our bodies, with our feelings, with our difficulties, with our minds. But at this time you can learn many more things about yourself all throughout the day.
- Do not compare to others and focus on your own journey
It’s easy to compare yourself with others in a yoga class. Strength, flexibility, body type, choice of clothing, but this is not just a study, we do it all the time in our daily lives. We compare ourselves to our colleagues, rivals, celebrities, and friends. We value our worth based on our workplace, our relationships, and our bank account.
If we think about it we will find out that all of this ensemble causes us a lot of pain. Plus, it is completely useless and distracts us continually from our real life’s purpose such as happiness and mindfulness. When you are in a yoga class and you find yourself comparing with others, let these thoughts go and bring your attention to yourself.
Only in this way you can improve your practice and your mindset. In everyday life, when you are confronting your life with someone else’s, try to block this thought and bring your attention to yourself and your very own journey, just as you would do if you were on the best yoga mat, showing up for yourself.
- Do not always expect the best
Unfortunately, life does not follow a linear trajectory. It’s sad but true. In most cases, you cannot be the best in everything you do. In yoga classes, you can hold the Tree Position (Vrikasana) for long deep breaths and moment while others, however, might be shaken immediately after a few seconds and dropping each time you repeat the execution.
This does not make someone weak or fraud. This makes us human. Some days, you might have the energy to run 10 km or you might be super productive on a workday. Others, however, even if you put everything in it, you cannot make the most of anything you do.
You must recognize that performance on a given day has nothing to do with performance in the next few days. Rarely remember that you have a strong influence on the levels of fatigue, mood, sleep, hormones, and especially stress. Try to be flexible with your expectations and not always expect the best. Be patient, be kind and accept where you are at this specific particular moment. Be present.
- You must be kind to yourself even when you feel defeated, embarrassed or ashamed
Surely you can’t perform a challenging advanced position during a yoga class if you are a newbie and you may fall to the ground during a balance position. At that time did not you feel a little defeated and slightly embarrassed? You are not alone. This is something that happens so often in a yogi life! There is nothing wrong with you.
The yoga class is the last place in the world where you should feel defeated or embarrassed. It does not matter if you fall from a position, the important thing is to get up and try again, sooner or later you will be able to do it perfectly. You have to believe it! It does not matter if you do not perform an asana to perfection, especially at the very first stages of your yogi experience but it’s important to continue doing it and you will see tremendous improvements.
Commit and trust the journey. You will do it! So in a yoga lesson, you have to try to be kind to yourself and you have to try to bring this attitude out of the classroom, into everyday life in the outside world. If you fail in something in life it does not matter at all. It is quite normal to feel defeated and embarrassed. Raised as you would after a fall from a yoga position.
Try and try again, never give up for winning, surely sooner or later you will succeed in what you are doing.
- You are the expert of yourself
What if you feel some pain during an asana or you feel uncomfortable in your own skin? This is something can happen so often, especially when it comes to open up to yourself and to really start listening to both your body and soul.
It often happens in everyday life to hear people telling you to do something for your own good. Yoga teaches you to listen to yourself first and then to act and you have to understand why you are experiencing a certain type of pain or state of mind and you will be halfway to the best version of yourself, being able to really get to know yourself a bit better, in an intimate profound way.
- Concentrate on the trip otherwise, you will lose it
How many times during your yoga practice did you find yourself hoping that it was already over or thinking about what your next meal, your working day or about a particular person? What happens to a yoga class is sometimes the same as what happens to you in “real” life.
Surely you will have to do that while doing an important job or studying for an exam you could not concentrate. If you cannot concentrate on a yoga lesson, you cannot even do it in many other moments in your life. So try to use yoga to practice as a tool to improve your concentration at the present moment in time.
Be aware of physical feelings, small pains, breathing, and everything you experience during the practice. Try to immerse yourself in the present moment and surely your practice will improve.
Outside the class try to take this attitude of greater concentration in everything you do in your life so that you are more connected with your body, mind, and emotions. Every time you wake up when you do something you try to do the same thing you would do while practicing yoga and concentrating 100% on what you are doing. This is going to make you feel so present and ready to really live your life.. on and off the mat!
- Practice non-judgment
Surely you have been judging someone during a yoga class when, for example, a practitioner falls, if he/she makes something funny or imply fails to make an asana.
At that time you are not practicing yoga. Yoga and judgment are like water and oil, they never mix! Judgment is given by thoughts, thoughts become words, words become behaviors, behaviors become habits and habits become values.
By practicing yoga we choose the value of non-judgment. You need to stop judging yourself but others too! So you start not judging in a yoga studio and this is a great place to learn this principle and be ready to practice it during your everyday life.
7. Make your discomfort a comfort
Everybody has its own limits and preferences. If, for example, you are not a big fan of forwarding fold this may be the right time to make the most of it. Of course, your back muscles may hurt and you could easily stop trying telling yourself it’s too much for you and you are not that good enough to perfectly perform that asana.
Actually you have to start considering that everything we are trying to resist persists, and it is usually when we stop fighting the discomfort that we find peace. Now during practice, when you are into an asana where you have to bend forward please try to use your own breath relax in this position and to be comfortable in that position, even though it is uncomfortable. A little goes a long way! Be gentle and try to defeat that sense of failure and that frustration, instead, open up to the progress. It’s just when you start to relax that the back muscles of the thighs begin to stretch and you are ready to grow and to change. Try to take this attitude in every asana you perform and you will see great improvements.
Even in you are off the mat life when you are dealing with any uncomfortable situation, such as anxiety, depression, guilt, envy, we highly suggest you not to kick it out. Try to address these situations as you would address an uncomfortable position in yoga. Breathe deeply and try to find your comfort even in an uncomfortable situation. This shifting perspective is going to blow your mind!
- Break your comfort zone but stay in your security zone
Surely you will have your instructor tell you to do a yoga position that you do not feel right at the moment. However, you should not confuse the comfort zone with that of security. Of course, you have to push your limits to improve but always remember to respect your body and to not rush things in a painful frantic way.
Performing some energetic vinyasa and some challenging asana may be too much when it comes to someone who is at his/her very first stages of the yoga practice. Don’t be afraid to use props, to take it slow and to ask for help if you need to. You have to be humble and open to accept every support from the kula, the yoga community, to feel part of something bigger, supported and never alone!
For example, if you want to do a handstand, don’t rush things performing this challenging asana in the middle of the room but, in order to get comfortable in that inversion and really understand how to perform it in a proper safe way, use a wall, a brick and some other support to enrich your practice, leaving behind your comfort but not your security!
Once you are into yoga you will embrace a brand new approach to yourself and to life itself. You are going to learn how to deal with yourself, how to be present and, most of all, you are going to free all the power you have within yourself. It is going to be amazing to see your mindset and your relationship with your inner self to change in such a deep profound way.
All the great benefits of this discipline and everything related to it that you are going to experience in your own skin will amaze you, for sure! Everything you are going to experience will change you forever but, in order to really do that, you need to trust the process, believe in yourself and honor both your body and mind for what you can do and accept what you still can’t do. Yoga is a life-changing discipline because it really affects your body, mind, spirit, and attitude, switching to a unique perspective and to a completely new way of healthy living.
If you want to get started with yoga, learn more about this amazing discipline or you want to go a little more in-depth with your practice check our website and find the perfect tool for an explorative journey to transform your life and rejuvenate your soul!