om shanti, i have no expectations
Hello hello everyone. I know… i have been slacking on my yoga notes lately. to my defense it wasnt intentional because each time after class, i’m just drop dead tired and have no energy left for words and reflections. it’s close to 1am now and i’m exhausted and just plain tired after my ashtanga class earlier. However i will not slack for today and just type whatever i have left in my brains so that i can finally exhale some yoga notes out of my breath and sleep soundly tonight.
alrighty, my yoga topic today would be…. *drumroll pls*
preparations before your yoga class. 🙂
Now each of us, yogi practitioners or just gym rats have different preps before a certain class; yoga or not.
Some of us stretch it out. most will do warm up, short run to warm up the muscles, jump about to relax the body, etc.
For yogis, some will not eat 2-3 hours prior to class (which is vital), some will do light stretching like upavistha konasana, padangusthasana, baddha konasana or just resting in plain savasana minutes before class.
Now, the most important preparation before any yoga practices would be meditation 🙂 if you notice, most if not all yoga classes will start with a 5-10 minutes of meditation. In yoga practices, meditation is equivalent to warming up/cooling down or just preparing/relaxing your mind and body for the asanas that you are about to do.
You sit in a lotus position, shoulders relaxed, hands on your thighs or just wherever you feel comfortable, eyes closed and you relax, calm and empty your mind.
In this post, i would like to share with everyone some tips of how to prepare your mind for a good yoga class in the 5-10 minutes of meditation (because freeing your mind, is not as easy as it sounds) 🙂 Besides, i also believe that what constitutes a good yoga class is how you prep your mind and body towards the class.
you can try any of this on your next yoga class and hopefully it will help you to achieve a great yoga session.
here’s a few things you can try to channel your mind to think about during the 5-10 minutes of meditation
#1. the most common way is to try to think of a goal you would like to achieve for that particular practice. For example, you may tell yourself “For today’s class, i want to be able to last 10 long breaths on the vasisthasana. OM shanti, i believe it is achievable and i will achieve it” (Be as positive as you can, trust your body and level up your confidence. Challenge yourself and just aim for a goal to achieve in a class. It doesn’t have to be a hard pose, it can be a simple one as a goal to hold a certain posture longer is also a very solid goal. )
Repeatedly tell yourself that you are able to achieve your goal while visioning yourself achieving the goal in the most calm and graceful manner. Tell yourself there is nothing that you want today other than achieving your goal and you will make it happen.
During your asanas, focus on your breathing and think about all the poses as preparations to help you achieve the goal. This way, you can master any postures easily as you have an open and confident mind. remember, if you think you can, you (eventually) can. 🙂
#2. (i have blogged about this before and this is also one of my favorite) Think about placing all your worries and problems and friends and colleagues and issues all in one BIG bag and leave it outside of the yoga room. Think of everything that matters to you, every single thing that you are thinking about, stuff it in the bag and just leave it outside of the room. once you have your whole world outside of the room, all you have left is… nothing 🙂 nothingness in you, nothingness in your head, and an empty mind to begin your asanas.
(tip :: at the end of the yoga session, remember to walk off without the bag 🙂 )
#3. Have no expectations for the class. Most importantly, have no expectations on yourself, your body, your mind, your instructor, your yogamates, the environment, the music, the asanas, everything. Tell yourself ” For today’s lesson, i will just let it roll. whatever happens, happens. if i can do a certain posture, yeay! if i cant, no worries, i’ll try on the next class. i have no expectations. i have no wishes. i have nothing. i am here to do yoga and that is what i will do.” This way, you will rule out all thoughts of competition, doubt, jealousy, fear, rejection, all negative thoughts within you, you do not have any expectations out of anything. Focus mainly on your breathing and try to push out every negative thoughts out of your system by thinking of yourself being in the class with zero expectations.
When dealing with a hard posture, just do your best. if you can achieve a certain posture, be thankful about it, if not, then you have done your best and you will be proud of it as well as it was your best effort.
#4. (i have also blogged about this before) Think about a super strong green light, entering your body from the top of your head washing out all the negative thoughts in your head or anything unpleasant (this can be denoted possibly by a red light). Imagine that the green light pushes all the red light out of your system and the only remaining thing left on you is a strong green light shining right from your heart and shining across the room, lighting up the whole area. when you open your eyes, you will feel energized and all warmed up for your asanas 🙂
There are a few more ways but i will probably blog about it another time. The above 4 is mainly my favorite. you can also mix it match and combine some of them like #1 & #3, #2 & #4:) The idea it to have a positive mind full with readiness and drive to begin your yoga workout.
once the 5-10 minutes of meditation is up, slowly bring your hands together and rub it to feel the heat on your hand. If you’ve done the meditation correctly, you will feel that your palms are warm. slowly bring your palms to your face, place it on your eyes and slowly on your cheeks and feel the warm sensation of your hands.
Once you are ready, bow to your mat and start your practice with sun salutation (or other asanas according to your instructor)
if you’ve prep correctly or rather positively at the beginning of your class, you will DEFINITELY get a good yoga session no matter what asanas were practiced, who was teaching the class, etc etc etc. at the end of the day, yoga’s main goal… is union between your mind and your body.
i hope you understand my words as its really late now and i am not going to bother to proof read. :/