Affirmation of the Month:
"I am neither too little nor too much, and I do not have to prove myself to anyone. I am okay as I am.”
- Louise L. Hay, from Spirituality & Health
Jeffrey Goldberg’s Practice Tip: Practice with Affirmations
In the past newsletters, we have discussed the energetic aspects of the poses and the importance of setting your intention during practice. In this edition, we will discuss how to formulate and use affirmations in your practice.
Knowing how the poses release energy that was once stored in the body as tension, and knowing the truth that our energy follows intention, it cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to remain mindful and aware with a clear mind free of negative thoughts. To do this, we say affirmations silently or aloud while we practice.
Affirmations must be crystal clear, brief, powerful statements of Truth expressed in a positive manner.
NEGATIVE: "I am no longer sick."
CORRECT: "I am healthy and whole."
Avoid the following words in your affirmations:
Trying - This word contains the seed of failure in it. If you are trying to accomplish something, you are forever failing to accomplish it. Better to assert your affirmation positively. Instead of "I am trying to be healthy," it is better to say "I am healthy!"
Hoping - This word limits the appearance of your manifestation. If you are hoping for something, then you have doubt about whether you will get it. If you are hoping or wishing, you are forever in the state of anticipation. Better to say "I intend" rather than "I hope."
Wanting - To want something is to not have it. Wanting is a state of lack or scarcity. Instead of "I want a new car" which will forever keep you from having a new car, it is far better to say "I have a new car."
To be - Keep your affirmations in the present tense. If you are looking to the future for something, then it is forever eluding you. Better to assert, for example, "I am happy" instead of "I intend to be happy."
Not - The use of negative language in your affirmations must be eliminated. If your affirmation is "I am not sick," you are focusing on the illness instead of the health. It is much better to say "I am healing."
Choose a few affirmations to use during your practice and take notice of the improvement in your practice that comes from taking charge of your thoughts in yoga.
Bri Winton’s Dynamic Human Anatomy:
Hyper-Extension Part 2
Last time we discussed how hyper-extension tends to come from a force perpendicular to bone/muscle structure rather than in line with it.
This month we will focus on what this means in our Downward Facing Dog and forward bends.
When we 'straighten' our legs, we often think 'I'm going to unbend my leg'. This is what we will label as the thought process of hyper-extension. The problem with this is that there is no stopping point. The end result may in fact be a leg that is now bent the opposite way, or hyper-extended.
Try this instead: extend the leg, rather than straighten it. Extending the leg allows for the leg to stabilize once the 'straight' point has been reached, as that is as far extended as the leg can get.
So how do we actively do this in our yoga class?
Rather than trying to 'straighten the legs', extend through the heels (as if they could reach the floor).
If heels are on the floor, maintain the extension through the heels, to create the direction of movement for the stretch.
Engage the quads (the 4 muscles on the top of your thighs) to create stabilization and strength.
Rather than trying to push the legs straight towards the wall behind you, extend through all 4 corners of both feet, to create direction of movement for the stretch as well as stabilization.
Engage the quads (see above) to create a stretch in the back of the thighs that we note is the correct stretch of the pose
Try it out, let us know how it works for you!
Like more hands on help? Let us know and we will put you into contact with a teacher in your area or online!
Quotation of the month:
“Once you have started seeing the beauty of life, ugliness starts disappearing. If you start looking at life with joy, sadness starts disappearing. You cannot have heaven and hell together, you can have only one. It is your choice.”
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