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How to Get Into Yoga?

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How to Get Into Yoga?
Answer
4/19/17 2:23 PM
I am interested in getting into Yoga to improve physical health and flexibility, as well as to do energy work in combination with my mediation later down the line. All I know about yoga is what I read on Wikipedia today, but that was more than enough to know that the classes my mom goes to on weekends is far from what I am looking for. My instincts tell me that mainstream yoga classes are the ‘mindfulness-based stress reduction’ of Yoga. If I’m wrong about that please let me know.

How do I educate myself on what my options are in terms of the different methods out there and how to go about setting up a serious practice? Is this the kind of thing I can do on my own or is a teacher necessary? How do you find a legit teacher anyway? I don't really want to be paying money. I want to really do this right and know what I'm doing. Again, my current knowledge is extremely minimal so sorry if anything I am saying is misguided.

RE: How to Get Into Yoga?
Answer
4/19/17 8:55 PM as a reply to Yamazaki.
You should check out the Reichian therapy thread, which delves into bodywork practices which are much more effective for a modern day Westerner: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5346105?_19_delta=20&_19_keywords=&_19_advancedSearch=false&_19_andOperator=true&_19_resetCur=false&_19_cur=1
 
I’d also highly recommend Kit Laughlin’s Stretch Therapy which was originally based on modified Iyengar Yoga poses, but the emphasis isn’t on stretching as the name advertises so much as its focus is on repatterning your mind’s perceived limitations of how far your body can bend, which can dramatically increase your flexibility. The fact is unless you’ve done flexibility work like gymnastics growing up as a child where your brain is still developing normally you will have a very limited range of flexibility, including getting into key Yoga poses. As mentioned these are perceived limitations created by your mind which yoga systems don’t normally take into consideration. A good demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtH7lQrPoxU
 
As for energy practices, I'd check out Qi Gong.  

Hope that helps.

RE: How to Get Into Yoga?
Answer
6/8/17 6:18 AM as a reply to Yamazaki.
Hi!

I'm practicing yoga for 6 months and what I can tell from my experience is that yoga is not what I thought it would be. I studied all about yoga at home but the practice is way more. It's the union of mind, body and energy. It's all about love and respect for yourself. Yoga its accepting your limitations and really understanding that those limitations are all in your mind. It´s growing your roots, healing and getting strong from inside out. 

How do you find a legit teacher anyway?

Put your mind and heart into it. It took me 2 years to find my teacher. She is the only teacher in my city that is not about the "fashion yoga". I asked and tried some classes until I found her. She was hard to find, but I have to have a gut feeling about things and people. But in the end I find that the teacher is just a way for you to understand in your cells the correct posture so you dont hurt yourself when you practice solo. A teacher guides you but the real work it's yours. Some asanas are really strong and if you have health problems is good to have someone that really knows what they are doing and teach you alternative asanas.

"mainstream yoga classes are the ‘mindfulness-based stress reduction’ of Yoga"

The Yoga class i'm in can be considered mainstream yoga classes with a twist of something more, and i see all the 30 students there take it differently. Sometimes the class ends and Im very relaxed, other days its like im purging old stuff. 

But try different things to see if you feel it. Most classes are free the first time and some teachers do free classes in nature or for a minimal contribuition.

Here is a link for a youtube channel with the foundations of yoga, she explains it very well, and you can meditate on the asana.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLui6Eyny-UzyugJTu3l1YFL0k3nGIlaz9

Hope it helps.

RE: How to Get Into Yoga?
Answer
6/13/17 9:20 PM as a reply to Yamazaki.
It is almost impossible to filter out the fashion yoga, but it can be done. I recommend also reading The Heart of Yoga, written by the son and disciple of Krishnamacharya, the only disciple of whom wrote without the motive of trying to broaden his audience (he inherited the successful practice of his father). You can see it in the way he writes. Very humble and plain. Also features a translation and commentary on the Yoga Sutra.

RE: How to Get Into Yoga?
Answer
1/12/18 5:35 AM as a reply to Yamazaki.
I highly recommend Ashtanga yoga: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashtanga_vinyasa_yoga

You’ll find some excellent and dedicated teachers in this system, along with a great community of Ashtanga yogis. It’s practiced “Mysore” style, which means you learn how to do the sequence yourself, so you can practice anywhere, anytime and for free if you like. You’ve still got your practice when you travel etc. 

Its not particularly expensive (my teacher charges about $110 for a 10 visit pass). It’s extremely challenging but in the best ways. Most people drop out. It took me a few years to get really serious about it - you have to really want it. But if you do commit 100%, the benefits are incredible. 

In terms of teachers I would check out:

https://markrobberds.com/ 

http://www.richardfreemanyoga.com/

http://insanyoga.com/ (one of my teachers; amazing)



RE: How to Get Into Yoga?
Answer
1/12/18 8:07 AM as a reply to Yamazaki.
You are correct about mainstream yoga and right to be wary of teachers who are not "legit," as even the ones who are legit can hurt you and the one's who aren't can do even more damage. This is why I learned from books and online resources and practiced on my own for many years before studying with teachers in person. But I already had a solid background in other physical disciplines, so your mileage may vary with this approach.

I'll second the recommendation for Desikachar's The Heart of Yoga (my copy is held together with duct tape). And I'm also a fan of Mysore-style (independent study) Ashtanga, but be warned that with a serious longterm practice the risk of injury approaches 100%. There are ways to mitigate that risk and make it less likely that the injuries will be severe, but not eliminate the risk entirely. PM me if you want help looking into your local/online/print resources in order to get a practice started.

RE: How to Get Into Yoga?
Answer
1/12/18 1:12 PM as a reply to Yamazaki.
Yoga being a legitimate meditative practice I highly recommend you to find a teacher at first to at least learn the core concepts and technique. Unlike 'mainstream' yoga there are different kinds like Vinyasa, Kundalini, Kriya, Hatha Yoga (which is included in the others)... Those techniques often require flowing movements between the asanas (postures) comvined with breathing (pranayama) with focused attention on a particular area of the body (dhristhi). If you really seek the energetic and meditative practice you should get a teacher at first IMO.

With Metta,