Sunday, 17 April 2016

Yoga for every body - men - non-competitive

It is natural for men to be competitive but this is not what yoga is about - rather yoga is a journey of self-discovery. As our bodies gradually open, with practice as opposed to force, we open our minds to see things more clearly. Straining to compete with the person on the next mat or to achieve the 'perfect' pose can lead to injury.  

Yogis have a tool that helps - it is called 'finding your edge', that place where you feel a stretch but not a strain. If you strain into a pose, you immediately lose the benefits of that pose.  The breath is a good indicator of whether you are straining in a pose.  If the breath becomes laboured, you should either come out of the pose or take a modified version.  Don't feel that it is admitting defeat to use props either - props are a great way of encouraging your body to open gradually without injury.  The same tool can be used in meditation.  When you first start meditating many uncomfortable emotions may arise and it can be helpful to just be with these emotions but if they become overwhelming you may just have to try again another day.

In life too, being overlay competitive can lead to unhappiness.  Yogis have set of restraints to live by - the yamas, one of which is aparigraha, non-grasping, being content with what we have.  This may mean not striving so much for that promotion that we become stressed with all the health risks this has.  It may mean letting go of 'keeping up with the Jones's' because material possessions only create a need for more.  Instead practice being grateful for what you have.  When we feel gratitude for what we have, we are less likely to take more than we need because we recognise that we already have abundance in our lives and do not need to grasp for more.  You may want to try the meditation in the following blog post on asteya

Please see also my blog post 'Taking your yoga off the mat - aparigraha'-

My yoga video, 'Yoga for every body - men - non-competitive' can be found on my YouTube Channel-

Janet x

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