Five Tips On How To Be A Good Yoga Student

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by Anandi Martinez

You’re probably wondering what this means, but most new students and even ones I’ve had for years, come in for a peaceful experience and end up pushing and straining into most of the asanas. We have been brought up in a very competitive culture and this attitude carries over into everything we do.  When we begin a yoga class ,it’s vital to your experience to prepare the mind to make an effort, but if you have to make a face or muscles start to shake than it’s a sure sign of pushing the body into something it’s not quite ready for. Being a good yoga student means caring for yourself as you would care for others. Isn’t it funny how we can take much better care of our friends and relatives and neglect ourselves terribly? Be good to yourself, take care of yourself, so you then can be of best use to others.

Listen to your teacher. Really listen. For beginners , obviously this is very important, for experienced students, I find them moving ahead ,especially if they know the sequence well. This takes them out of the moment, sometimes makes the movements automatic and robotic, and prevents them from paying attention to the “now”. After all, Our bodies and moods change all the time. When I see this, I always do something different to catch them and “wake them up”. I secretly get amused by this. I love to take people out of their comfort zone and hopefully inspire change. Listening also helps to focus and clear the mind. If you’re really listening ,your focus sharpens and narrows down to that which you are paying attention to and actually becomes a form of meditation. Ultimately ,that’s where we are headed, into a moving meditation. You experience the body fully, clear the mind ,and access the higher mind. Most students don’t realize this is happening, they just know they feel great when they’re done.

Open yourself to the possibilities. Coming into a yoga class with an open mind is crucial to the effects it will have on you. No matter how long you’ve been practicing, coming into class with an open heart and mind benefits everyone! An open mind means more space for opening up the body. Our emotions and how we’ve processed (or not processed) them will determine how much tension there is in the body and where it has manifested. Our job is to come into class ready for restoration, healing, and renewed vitality. We may not always feel that, but at least we came prepared for it. We need to let go of our expectations and just let Yoga do its thing for you, regardless of what we thought we should be getting. The shoudas, wouldas, and couldas always get us into trouble. Open, let go and enjoy the ride!

To be a good Yoga student doesn’t really require much ,except a desire to feel better, There are many reasons people come to Yoga, but to receive the most benefit, consistency is very important, practice on a regular basis, at least once a week, and work up to two or three times a week. If you really get serious, make some time every morning and start your day with a good foundation. For me, all my students are good, and I accommodate them and love each one for exactly who they are now.

For more information about Anandi and her yoga classes, please visit her website, www.anandislivingyoga.com.

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