A while ago I took my last yoga class in Wellington. For the last class I thought I should focus on a few guidelines for yoga that might come in handy going forward. Here’s a recap of what we discussed (in-between Surya namaskars, bandhas and pranayama).
1. Do yoga everyday. 40 surya namaskars in 10 minutes + any pranayama exercise + 3 bandhas.
2. When it comes to a teachers remember that only your comfort level matters. A teacher might come with a fancy certification and years of experience, but if you just don’t feel right in their presence, then they are not for you.
3. Eat a banana before yoga class and something post the class.
4. ALWAYS be suitably dressed for yoga. You don’t want to be worried about wardrobe malfunctions while in your inversions.
5. Never laugh at anyone. Also, never compare yourself to anyone. Also, don’t forget to switch your cell phones off. Nothing is more irritating than having your shavasana interrupted by an annoying ring tone.
6. Meditate for 5 minutes every day. 5 minutes might not sound like much, but you’d be surprised how little time you spend on yourself every day.
7. The power of positive thought can never be underestimated. Once a week practice turning all your negative thoughts into positive statements. Eventually this will become second nature.
8. Always give ‘guru dakshina’. In a consumerist society, many people forget to/don’t want to compensate their yoga teachers for the time and effort they have spent. A particular teacher might not suit you, but if you’ve taken up space in their studio, then you need to compensate them. A lot of studios offer a free trial class, but I’ve also come across students who’ve attended 5 days and have disappeared.
9. When at home don’t try new asanas. Do new asanas only around a teacher. A teacher can give you guidelines about your asanas and that minimizes risk of injury.
10. Keep your practice true and honest. Everyone seems to have ‘done’ yoga. Again, yoga is not a chore. It is a lifestyle. Have an honest look at your yoga practice now and then. More specifically, ask yourself: am I making enough time to practice?