There are as many schools and types of yoga as there are varieties of dancing. If you’re into county line dancing, taking ballet lessons probably won’t float your boat.
If you’re new to yoga or have tried yoga in the past but were dissatisfied, shop around. There are hundreds of teachers in Cleveland and each has his or her own style and type of yoga. The following is a description of the kind of yoga I’m into:
If you do not go within, you go without.
Yoga allows us to bring our body, mind and spirit into harmony as a way to experience mindfulness and compassion in our daily lives. The practice of hatha yoga involves physical exercises and postures (asanas) that improve our cardiovascular system, strengthen our muscles, stimulate all of our internal organs, energize our chakras (energy centers) and cleanse our entire body. It also includes breathing exercises that calm our nervous system and meditation and chanting that nurture calmness and mental clarity. The combination of these three aspects results in a sense of well-being, confidence, openheartedness, and patience.
Yoga is about the process. It is not competitive. Each day is a fresh start. You do not need to be a contortionist or a cast member of Cirque de Sole to derive benefit from a yoga practice. As a matter of fact, those who are less limber and physically fit will benefit more than those who are in top-notch shape.
Another important aspect of the kind of yoga I teach is the development of community. I want people in my classes to become comfortable with and eventually bonded to each other. I want to create hallowed ground wherever I teach and to create a supportive community. I incorporate partner poses into each session.
My sessions generally last 90 minutes and include some chanting and centering exercises in the first 10 minutes. I spend about sixty minutes doing asanas and then the remaining 20 minutes winding down and doing guided meditation.
When I began practicing yoga, I could have never imagined that the benefits would be so bountiful. I believe that you will find that over time your yoga practice will not only give you a stronger body, deeper breathing, and a more stabilized and spacious mind, but it will also awaken your senses and open your heart. All this is available to you if you employ a touch of courage, a bit of discipline, a lot of curiosity, and persistence.