Daily Dosage of Yoga
To make a session of Yoga practice most effective, it is required that we make it as comprehensive as possible. This is different from the amount of time we invest in Yoga practice every day. One can dedicate an hour, 90 mins or on some busy days we may just be able to practice 30 mins; however, the completeness of the session depends on how our bodies have been used during the practice - strength, flexibility, balance and cardiovascular training etc, all aspects necessary for healthy body must be put to work.
Complete Yoga Session
A complete session must include gentle warm-ups, deep stretches, standing postures, front and backbends, side bends and twists; balancing, lying down and sitting postures with focus on back and hamstrings. These movements must improve flexibility and blood circulation. For the purpose of warm-up one must use Suryanamaskar, it is one of the most complete ways to get your body ready for Yoga practice. If one adds inversions such as Sarvangasana and Sirshansana, then it will impact the overall blood flow in the body.
Also in focus should be isometric postures to gain strength in shoulders, arms, and wrists. Usage of the spine and increasing core strength also must be top priorities. Uthita-Padmasana is very useful for a beginner to gain upper body strength; while Chakrasana and its variations will provide your spine enough suppleness and firmness.
To take the practice to an even deeper level, one must keep in mind efficiency of internal organs, digestive system, hormonal secretion, and nervous system. For this one may need a deep understanding of yoga postures and guidance of an experienced teacher may be necessary.
Try to end the session with a period of cooling down involving one or more pranayama techniques; this will bring your circulation back to normal.
Resolve to practice regularly
Even though we resolve to practice daily what comes in our way, is our habitual pattern of living. It’s the inertia that stops us from taking a simple positive step each day. We must allocate time very consciously and if necessary, plan our day around Yoga practice. Give it the highest priority and then see what yoga gives you back in return. So instead of saying I will practice daily for the rest of the year, it is better to plan just for the next practice with specific date and time; write that down if needed in your diary, make it feel like a necessary appointment.
Struggle is necessary
Sometimes we feel that the practice is too difficult, and the body does not want to go through the pain and the sweat. This is a big hidden obstacle to our practice because we never admit that we don’t want to go through the rigor of training. Yoga requires discipline and mental strength; the only way to develop these faculties are by putting them through regular tests. Acknowledging the fact that you want to escape the rigor and hence are making excuses such as the scarcity of time, distracting social commitments or inertia helps you gather enough discipline to do your class. Facing beginners pain becomes even more complicated if we are irregular with the practice. Then even after six months we remain a beginner and fight the muscle soreness that should have gone months ago.
Eat Right to aid your daily practice
Lastly, eat light to make time for Yoga. Correct eating changes how much pain we feel, how oxygen our blood carries, toxicity from our body washes away. Proper diet gives our mind tremendous energy to think clearly, thus making it easier to keep up with our positive resolutions. Nutritious diet lets you move with freedom, sleep better and wake up rejuvenated. These are vital factors on whether you can come back again and again for your practice. To maximize the benefits of each session, we must support our practice with eating “sattvic” food.
Hope in 2019 we focus on ourselves, investing in our wellbeing is probably the wisest thing to do.