Advanced does not mean being more flexible: it is about listening to your body and making intelligent choices about your yoga practice
One of the five yamas in yoga is called Ahimsa, which means non-violence. This can be translated as taking care of yourself and not pushing your body too far, too fast: both on and off the mat.
I am always telling my students to ‘listen to your body’; by all means enjoy the feeling of strength, flexibility and focus, but you must also learn to back off when your body tells you. And it will. Ahimsa teaches you to protect your body, to accept, to understand, to listen. By learning to back off, you will gradually strengthen both your mind and body, instead of breaking it.
If you play sport, run, cycle or go to the gym, you may have the competitive nature that makes it really difficult to back off. It’s all about winning the game or the race, or lifting a bigger weight. As athletes you can be pretty tough on your bodies and really need to learn the whole ‘ahimsa’ thing! Yoga will not only help with improving core strength, flexibility, mental focus and concentration, it teaches you to listen to your body and help prevent injury: you learn to take care of yourself.
I am starting a new ‘Yoga for Athletes’ class in January in Derby on a Thursday evening, 7.30-8.30pm at Derby Rugby Club. It will be challenging, to suit a more competitive nature, but it will also support your gym, rugby, football, running, cycling…. regimes, whilst teaching you how to use yoga to take care of both your mind and your body.
Please contact me for more details or information.