There’s more

Many people practice yoga as their fitness regime – which I believe is totally fine, if this is what they want. However, yoga shouldn’t be placed in the fitness realm. Getting a strong and flexible body might happen through regular practice, but yoga isn’t just moving from one pose to another. It’s about ourselves, establish a deep connection to the self and learn on the way.

If you’re after competition and judgment, the yoga studio is the wrong place to be, as yoga isn’t competitive at all, it’s not about can or can’t, it’s not about the student next to you. We are using asanas to quieten our mind, to slide into a moving meditation.

That doesn’t mean we can’t do some of the fancy stuff that is popular right now! Go, try everything that catches your attention, but also understand there is more. 

When attending a yoga class, be prepared that you might not get what you want. Instead, be open to receive what the teacher is ready to give to you. Encouraging and guiding you to look inward, and become rooted in the deeper sense of yoga.

It’s a slow process, there’s no rush.

Photocredit Pasindu Madushan Photography

Back or forth?

Are you a forward folder or a back bender? I once heard that we tend to be either one or the other, well if not made of rubber of course. I have to admit, it’s very true for me. I’m a forward folder and I love it. My back is rather rounded and stiff, it’s difficult for me to go backwards. Physically spoken! As going backwards in any other meaning than physically isn’t just difficult, but a no go for me. I only know one direction, forward. Haha, yes, there it is, must be a connection. Well I leave it with this, even if my mind is just telling me stories about optional deep psychological interpretations… not now, not here!

I’d like to tell you about forward folds and hamstrings. I’m talking about a group of muscles placed on the backside of our thighs. I have an intense relationship with my beauties, a daily conversation, as they are kind of shilly-shally, everyday in a different mood. Some days very open and soft, which makes all forward folds such a pleasure, other days stiff, hard and full of tension.

„To breathe into and release the hamstrings can be very upsetting. We store many powerful emotions, such as suppressed anger, competitiveness, and fear of inadequacy, in our hamstring muscles. All suppressed emotions are potentially crippling to our health: they are toxic and have an impact on our personality…“

(Ashtanga Yoga, Practice & Philosophy, by Gregor Maehle)

Here you go, one reason! Another reason is that we spend too much time sitting, which shortens our hamstrings. Changing habits helps of course, as well as regular practice.

When working on your hamstrings it’s not just about stretching. We need both, lengthen and strengthen them. Always be careful, listen to them, treat them thoughtful and respect whatever they present you with that moment. Send your breath into the hamstrings and actively let all tension go with each exhale. Instead of forcing, go with the yin approach and get soft together with your hamstrings. Allow them to open in their own time and appreciate all they do for you!