Daily yoga: time to act
To enjoy the benefits of yoga, it is necessary to take the time to take care of yourself fully. Because in the philosophy of yoga, letting go is indeed an action.
The yogi considers that only the act carried out can bring about this much sought-after state of silence and plenitude, as opposed to the unfinished action which leaves an unpleasant feeling forbidding tranquility. Letting-being aims for a state of accomplishment detached from the injunctions to perfection that surround us. It is not therefore synonymous with carelessness in the sense that one usually understands it. It’s not about letting yourself down “chilling in front of the television with a packet of crisps in hand (although it can make a good Sunday from time to time). It’s about thriving in movement, to feel in a sufficiently fine way to be able to reach this state of detachment which leads to a more serene inner life… Even though it is only possible to practice yoga for thirty minutes, three times a week, we know that in our well reorganized lives it takes effort. But the effort quickly becomes a pleasure, a ritual, even a necessity that is always found. Its place in our schedule as with any new activity, all you have to do is decide to start!
Release, a gradual progression
Practicing yoga is showing kindness to yourself. As we have seen, it takes effort, but it is not about violence. The concept of respect is inherent in yoga, and it starts with respect for yourself. You have to make time to practice yoga, but you also have to learn to allow yourself time to progress. Letting go also means accepting that we cannot do everything right away and perfectly. So no need to try to skip the steps by immediately wanting to master meditation and perform perfectly the most difficult postures. It would be disheartening, and you could hurt yourself. Patience, Tritishka in Sankrit, is one of the core values of yoga. Learning to accept that we are not perfect and indestructible beings, being more humble in some way helps us to let go of the pressure and to free ourselves from the sometimes harsh judgments that we inflict on ourselves. Getting discouraged by comparing yourself to the yoga teacher wouldn’t do you any good. Yoga is a very personal practice, the important thing is to find your own rhythm. Taking lessons is very useful for learning the basics and being sure to perform the postures correctly, but taking time for sessions at home in a very quiet room is essential for you to appropriate these lessons, especially if at the beginning you are not very comfortable and if you don’t have a lot of time outside of the lessons then keep in mind that in a good yoga class there is a spirit of tolerance and judgment has place, otherwise it is not yoga!
Relaxation, take the time to relax
Once you have found a free moment to start, all you have to do is get in the condition to start your yoga session. Indeed, it is essential not to start a session anyhow. Just as you would warm up your muscles before a gym lesson, you have to prepare your mind beforehand. We do not launch into postures with a head full of the worries of the day and thinking about the evening dinner. Starting a class with relaxation is an excellent entry point, it allows you to start your session in an appropriate state of mind. It is about returning to calm breathing, realizing the sensations of the body at that precise moment. In Sanskrit this is called “savasana”, which can be translated as “correct relaxation”. The purpose of this relaxation is to leave aside everything that does not concern the present moment, in order to give oneself a real break and come back to what matters here and now. Relaxation techniques can also be useful at any time, such as when dealing with times of stress. It is enough for example to concentrate on the breath and to bring its attention on the different parts of the body to feel a real relaxation, it is almost magic! However, if the magic doesn’t work immediately, don’t panic. First of all, it sometimes takes a little practice, and you do it better some days than others, and that’s perfectly normal.