By Jaime Tam
Take your inner calm and clarity to the next level! Like a deep massage, good healthy yoga practice is often known to turn everyday obstacles into unique opportunities. In our modern world of yoga today there are a sundry of different styles and yoga disciplines to follow and explore.
I have been teaching a form of yoga since 2001 called Expressive Yoga, which is a creative means to a hatha based practice. There are a few distinct touches that keep this movement expressive, fresh and fun. After all, yoga is an opportunity to move some energy, deepen the breath, clean out old toxins and find fluidity and flexibility in the body and mind. Some yoga practices can lean towards a more rigid, linear or even militant approach, which can be serving in its own way.
I personally like to move into a yoga practice knowing that I am providing a good service to my own body and mind while also setting a good, clear intention at the beginning of each practice so that I can help generate some positive energy in the outside world as well. Yoga can be deeply spiritual, enchanting and much like a morning ritual when practiced consistently and imbued with compassion.
So what is “yoga off the mat”? This is a phrase you may have heard before and it is in reference to the positive shift of energy that one can experience and bring with them after engaging in a yoga practice. It is very similar to an afternoon of house cleaning, recycling of old materials and refreshing the nature of your surroundings to then sit back and enjoy the good shift in energy that you have created with your dedication, patience and effort. The energy runs full circle – we feed and then are fed.
When approaching a yoga practice with good intentions, rather than seeing it as just a stretch class, there is so much to benefit from the practice. You can turn a bad mood into a good one, relax your body & mind, and even break through that layer of fatigue that sometimes lingers when we don’t get to move our body.
Embrace an added dose of patience, clarity, direction, tolerance, compassion, or creative expression into your day, and you are sure to land into something good! Giving and receiving works in cycles and the sooner we are feeling recharged and energized, we can then spill off that surplus positive energy onto others.
It is like that saying, “help yourself before you can help others”. Our creative energy works in a ripple effect motion…. Good energy is contagious, just the way a smile is!
Addressing the physical and emotional needs throughout a yoga practice can allow for some self healing, dissolution of stress, a new perspective on big and small problems and offer a greater chance at affecting new encounters directly after a class. Chances are a yoga practice will create a fresh state for the body to function, whether a deeper consciousness strikes the mind or a state of ease sinks in- either way some energy has moved.
Sometimes a yoga practice can be humbling or difficult. Whatever the case may be, it is always wise for the student and the teacher to close the class on a positive note of gratitude, clarity or joy. Indulging in a non~invasive, lighthearted practice is a true gift!~
May we all roll up our mats and serve others as we wish to be served! Yoga can be an awesome way to take full responsibility for our own energy and turn our own obstacles into opportunities.
Find a passion for what you practice and witness the divine energy soar through your spirit!
In serving ourselves, we serve others. In serving others, we serve ourselves.