Today is a perfect day to expand your horizons. Consider mixing up your routine by spending more time on your yoga mat this week. We’re here to help with four longer yoga classes that will give you the space and time to deepen your practice.
“Do Your Practice and all is coming." K. Pattabhi Jois, the Indian scholar and credited founder of Ashtanga yoga famously said. According to his teachings, there is no substitute for time spent on the mat. Traditional Ashtanga classes were usually at least ninety minutes long. Each moment of practice is a moment exploring your heart, your body, and your mind.
Here are three reasons to try one of this week’s longer 45-90 minute yoga classes.
1. Challenge Your Physical Body: If you’re accustomed to shorter classes, you may not have time for learning new postures, delving into Pranayama (breath control) techniques, or sitting in meditation. With a longer class, the teacher has the space to deepen the student’s experience with one or all of these concepts. Maybe that extra thirty minutes is spent building lower body strength in a standing flow or focusing on flexibility working toward Hanumanasana (the splits) or core and upper body power with handstands. Or perhaps each section of class is a little longer––a little more.
2. Develop Your Mental Focus and Clarity: Just as a longer yoga class strengthens your muscles, bones, and joints, more time practicing will truly bring you closer to what yoga is all about––a powerful mind. According to the seminal text on yoga, the Yoga Sutras, yoga is learning to quiet the chatter in the mind and direct your attention where you wish it to go: Sutra 1.2: citta vritti nirodha. Extra time on the mat is the opportunity to truly learn to filter out distractions and become clear, calm, and focused.
3. Create Space for Uplifting Emotions: As humans, we store our emotions in our tissues. A profound connection between what our heart is experiencing and how tight our hips or shoulders are is undeniable. When we create openings in our physical body, we are creating space for stuck emotions to release and fresh feelings to enter. For example, the hips are where we store past trauma and stress. If you’ve ever cried in pigeon pose or another deep hip opener, you aren’t alone. In a longer class, there’s simply more time to let go.
Sure, it’s simplistic to say more time equals a more advanced practice, but if you put the additional work in, you garner more results. This week's longer classes allow you to savor your yoga. Enjoy!
1. Noemi Nuñez - Unity of Opposites
2. Ali Duncan - Yoga & Reiki
3. Rob Loud - Hearts & Hips: The Beauty of Asymmetry
4. Jack Cuneo - Align & Flow: Mind in One Place
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