Monday, May 22, 2006

Yoga Philosophy for Beginners

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Yoga Philosophy for Beginners

By Paul Jerard



Are you searching for much more from your Yoga class than just a workout? What deeper concepts should you learn in your Yoga practice? How can philosophy, taught by a Yoga teacher, change the quality of your life today?

There are so many Yoga philosophy concepts, but here are three that will help you shed many burdens in life. Yoga teachers vary on how much Yogic philosophy they will teach within a typical class. The cause of this may be the type of Yoga class, the perceived popularity, or the Yoga teacher’s choice.

In my Restorative Yoga classes, I teach much more Yogic philosophy than I do in a Vinyasa Yoga class. The same can be said for the amount of meditation time within my North Providence Restorative Yoga classes.

If you are wondering why - here is the answer: My Vinyasa Yoga students are usually younger and could really care less about Yogic philosophy or any other philosophy. They just want to work hard, so we work on mind and body only.

Am I selling out? You can be the judge, but these Yoga students will change with time, and will eventually want to see more of what Yoga has to offer. They are not in a big rush to learn any other form of Yoga, beyond the physically challenging styles - which is fine, because I need to get my exercise, too.

The following are three basic Yogic philosophy principles that will change your life, for the best, today. Try them, and you will make your life happy, simple, and less stressful. Make the change today, or tomorrow morning, for your overall health.

Loving kindness toward yourself, and others, starts from the moment you wake up. Stop criticizing yourself and others. Take positive action and you will see big changes. This is very hard to do, but try not to make negative comments about those who do not live up to your standards. If you can help by being a good example, that’s fine, but do not make it an issue, or a point of contention.

Never beat yourself up with criticism. If you have done wrong, make an effort to change and find solutions, but do not dwell on past mistakes. It will not be to your benefit to meditate on guilt.

Forgiveness is important for your survival and the quality of your own life. You have to let go and forgive others, for your own good. A grudge is a “prison sentence.” Let it go and you become free to do more important things. If you do not let it go, your overall health will suffer, as a result.

Being content with what you have is also known as Santosha. This will stop you from driving yourself crazy - when you are constantly competing with everyone around you. If a friend just bought a new house, feel good for him or her. Do not worry about what you do not have. Be happy about what you do have.

This applies to the physical aspect of Yoga, as well. If you see another student easily perform difficult asanas, be happy for him or her, but be proud of your own accomplishments. For example: You may have improved balance, learned a Pranayama technique to reduce stress, be eating a better diet, or feel the many benefits of meditation.

Make these three Yogic concepts a part of your daily life, and you will enjoy life’s many treasures.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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