What does it Mean to Deepen Your Yoga Practice?
You deepen your practice by committing to period of time during which you dedicate your time and your energy to an exploration into Yoga.
Yoga offers a vastness of knowledge and materials. Stay curious during this time of deepening practice.
In yoga, there is a value of Svadhyaha. Svadhyaha is a Sanskrit word that refers to self-study; a moment to turn your lens inward in a healthy and productive way. This is a rare thing for most of us, so I believe when the opportunity arises it is a calling toward knowing ourselves and building our compassion muscle as we journey forward into life.
Deepening Practice through Yoga Teacher Training
My personal journey of deepening my practice definitely began with teacher training. I did two trainings, one right after the other. Over that 18-month period of time, I was absolutely immersed in the movement practice, anatomy, and the philosophy. It was such a privilege and a gift that I gave myself to surround my life with such uplifting material, community, and teachers.
I have found that yoga teaching is about clear communication, and who doesn’t want that skill?
As I went through the process of teacher training, and as I continue to study different modalities; I know that I need to be able to communicate those ideas. My brain and body just light up in ways that I wouldn’t if I didn’t have that responsibility of having to share the knowledge. I believe we learn yoga faster and deeper when we also have to teach it.
You Can Experience Breakthroughs When Deepening Practice
You can experience breakthroughs when deepening our practice.
For example, maybe you discover that you are not who you thought you were!
You are affected by your life conditioning. Then you can experience breakthroughs when you observe that conditioning. You can then decide what you want to keep and what you would like to put down.
This leads us to the essential yoga practices of abhyasa and vairagya.
- Vairagya is the putting down of something, releasing what we no longer need.
- Abhyasa is the picking up of something.
The question we ask is ourselves is, “Who am I authentically?”
It is absolutely life-changing to commit to a study that helps you see the possibility of what it means to be human, in a body with a mind.
How often do you get to engage with yourself on that level? This is one of the benefits of a committed period of self-study.
Deepening Practice is a Life-Long Process
Your attention is your gold; your jewel in life.
Yoga can give you the tools to dynamically shift and hold your attention throughout your life.
For instance, say you want to shift your pattern of unfinished projects. You love to start them, you don’t love to finish them. That’s the tapasya in yoga that is practiced over and over again, moving towards the discomfort, the heat, rather than away. And then you apply that heat to the part of the project were you start to lose interest. You have the neural repetition you have practiced of applying your attention, even when it doesn’t always feel great.
I think this is one of the greatest boons you get from your yoga practice: Being a person who actually follows through with your intentions.
7 Tips for You to Deepen Your Practice
- Make a schedule! Sounds simple, but organizing your daily calendar and actual place yourself and your practice on it.
- Read something inspirational every day, a passage, a poem, something that uplifts your heart and turns your mind towards lightness.
- Talk to your yoga teacher, let them know you’re interested in deepening your practice, they’ll be so happy to give you some extra attention.
- Consider taking a yoga training, a dedicated period of study can be absolutely life-changing, whether you have a desire to teach yoga or not.
- Pranayama (breath-work), everyday!
- Pay attention to the pain in your body and get some help with it. Too often I see people pushing thru their pain points and it inhibits any growth in practice. I use a technique called Neurokinetic Therapy, its remarkable for tracking down compensation patterns, which are the main source of movement pain, and reversing them. Find a practitioner and retrain your movement to be pain free. Yoga shouldn’t hurt!
- Kindness, it’s a practice. It’s everything.
Yoga Teacher Training Deepens Your Practice
Deepen your own practice by joining the Rising Lotus Yoga Teacher Training February 11th.
- Bring dharma talks and themes into your yoga classes.
- Deepen your practice and knowledge of asana, and apply it confidently to create strength, mobility and healing in yourself and others.
- Confidently teach in a 1:1 or group setting and acquire the skills to teach all levels of students.
- Be able to create interesting and challenging sequences to keep students engaged and excited about your classes.
British born Yoga teacher, Claire Hartley, is known for bringing the deeper layers and meaning of Yoga and Yoga philosophy through all of her classes and workshop experiences, leaving the practitioners with an experience of the authentic joyful Self. She always does this with a healthy dose of her Brit wit and sensibility! She teaches weekly at her LA studio Rising Lotus Yoga, as well as trainings and workshops. She has been leading yoga teacher trainings since 2008 and is excited to launch the next training on February 11th.