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Yoga for Busy People

The library used-book sale yields another fascinating little volume: Yoga for Busy People by Dawn Groves. It's relaxed and non-dogmatic in its approach to yoga, with the philosophy that something is better than nothing and that starting small may help harried folks move on to doing more. YBP is also well-written and thoughtful. In Chapter 1 ("Getting Started") Groves suggests three steps to get "maximum value in a minimal amount of time" :

1. Center your attention: Centering refines your concentration and quiets your mind. Centering cultivates a keen awareness of what your body is doing. It teaches your mind to focus, attunes your attention to the body's alignment and breathing rhythm, and intensifies the value of any posture. ...
2. Perform a posture: ... Each posture aligns, tones, lengthens, and nourishes your muscles and internal organs. It's more beneficial to correctly execute a single posture than to thoughtlessly run through a series of postures.
3. Release the experience: Releasing involves accepting what you've done and letting go of the experience. Releasing reinforces the value of the practice, enhancing its long-term effect. With an upbeat, positive release, you're also less likely to procrastinate your next practice session.

Groves also in her introduction offers a sharp definition of meditation:

In a way, yoga is a style of meditation. Meditation is a mental discipline of focusing the mind upon one thing or activity, the purpose of which is to develop a transcendent sense of peace and a mindful clarity of thought. Meditation teaches you how to efficiently think and act without the burden of reactive thinking. People who meditate regularly are light of heart, not oppressed by the crescendo of self-doubt that plagues Western culture. They listen to their thoughts but aren't trapped by them. They become objective, creative thinkers with excellent concentration skills. As you quiet your mind through yoga postures, you're exercising a form of this mental discipline.

(cf. AikidoSpirit (2003-12-09), Yoga and Mudra (2010-08-08), Afraid of Chairs (2010-10-15), ...) - ^z - 2011-01-03

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