Though the end goal of yoga is not a physical pose, our asana practice serves as a vehicle for us to explore deep within ourselves. Creating an intention at the beginning of class is a great way to facilitate this inward exploration.
Often, a dedication is made to a certain person or concept to concentrate your efforts on throughout the class. Next time you are looking for some inspiration in your practice, turn your focus to your movement quality. Most applicable to a vinyasa style class, I often try to embody the quality of fluidity. This places more emphasis on transitions between postures and can transform how you approach your practice.
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Tips to Keep in Mind
1. Focus on synchronizing breath and movement, which is a key concept in vinyasa yoga. This synchronization creates a rhythm for your body rather than a stop and start feeling. Even in static holds, the ebb and flow of a steady breath keeps the rhythm and movement alive.
2. Use ujaji breath, an oceanic breath that has a sound reminiscent of crashing waves. This imagery can help you tap into the fluid quality of water and imagine your body in a more liquid state. The audible quality of ujaji also serves as a reminder of the internal rhythm you have created. For ujaji, breathe in and out through your nose with a constriction in the back of your throat, creating a “HA” sound through sealed lips.
3. Move quietly. Make every movement purposeful, placing each foot and hand carefully to articulate the bones of your entire body. This will develop more control and ultimately be kinder on your body.
4. Create resistance. Imagine you are moving through molasses so that each part of your body is placed with intention in the space. Each movement becomes purposeful and more muscles will be activated.
Fluidity suggests ease and softens the edges of your movement. It is kinder to your joints and increases body awareness. A rhythmic practice will calm your mind and transform your practice into a moving meditation.
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