Today, June 21st, International Yoga Day. The word yoga in Sanskrit means union; union between the soul (self) and the spirit (creative mind). When this union occurs, the mind enters a state of yoga, an elevated state of consciousness that is achieved through daily practice, this practice can be physical (hatha yoga), knowledge (jnana yoga) or religious / spiritual (bhakti yoga). They all lead to the same place.
In the West, Hatha yoga has become very popular for having the concept of physical activity attributed to yoga, where the body and breathing are the main objects of meditation. breathing during practice and why is it so important?
Breathing must be conscious, it must have a form, sound, rhythm and an intensity. Through the observation of these elements in all breaths throughout the practice, the practitioner creates an uninterrupted state of attention (the concentration of attention), which leads him to meditation.
How long should a yoga practice last?
It depends. Yoga practice only works if you are there, if you are focused and concentrated. So if you are thinking about other things, you will be practicing anything but yoga. There is no place in the world better than this for me to be in this moment that is not this. This is the mantra that should support practice; that is, when you are full and present you can practice and from the moment you start thinking about other things it is time to stop.
Should women avoid practicing yoga during their menstrual period?
Yes, at that moment it is time to eliminate the unfertilized egg and not retain it. Practice can hinder this process because we use bandhas (contractions of the lower abdomen and pelvic floor) as a use of pressure control and internal rhythms along with each inhalation and exhalation.
Why do many yoga practitioners end up opting for a plant-based diet?
Food is the fuel, and the less work it takes to digest it the better. The practice of yoga has observances of behavior and one of them is non-violence and supported by it the practitioner chooses a vegetarian or vegan diet.
What is the influence of the moon in the practice of yoga?
In the tradition of Ashtanga yoga practice, we do not practice on the first day of the full moon or on the first day of the new moon. Formerly in India, yoga masters stopped in those days to perform long rituals and offerings to the deities. In addition, the lunar cycle directly interferes with the water on our planet, great fluctuations in the tides, and our body could not be different. When we are practicing “full power” every day we feel the moon’s arrival due to the increased difficulty to practice, thus making this day ideal for rest.
What is “yoga outside the mat”?
It is looking for a path that is light, seeking health, balance and always observing what you have nourished physically, energetically and mentally, understanding that the practice expands to everything that we relate to.