Because you can never have too many yoga books, and because there is oh SO MUCH to know about yoga! Let’s just start with 27 Things eh? Not a bad place to begin and perfect place to be when you need a primer as a newb, or a helpful reminder as a veteran, of the what, why and how of yoga practice. Victoria Klein’s 27 Things To Know About Yoga presents an introduction to the fundamentals of yoga and the benefits of having a regular practice no matter your age, size, sex, religion, fitness level or occupation (we like #23 Understanding the Significance of Savasana), plus tons of resources on further reading and actually getting yourself on the mat. Sound good? Cool, cause you could win a copy! Ever get asked by friends/family/strangers why you practice yoga and what it’s all about? Here are 27 things to have in your back pocket.
WIN: We’re giving away two copies of 27 Things To Know About Yoga by Victoria Klein, courtesy of the author.
HOW TO ENTER: OK so there are these 27 things, right? But in our own personal book of yoga the list of new things we learn is infinite!
Don’t worry, all we’re asking is for you offer just ONE thing you would add as the 28th thing to know about yoga, from your own experience. Use this opportunity to reflect on your practice…we’ll give you a moment. If you’re a brand new yogadork, what’s one thing you’d like to know about yoga? Please post all entries in the comments!
The giveaway will stay open until around this time next week…Good Luck!
UPDATE: And the winners are…deep breath…Jan S. and Chris!! CONGRATS!
Thank you all so much for participating and sharing your own personal #28 thing to know about yoga. This may be the most inspirational giveaway yet!
That the movement + breathing is really just a trick to dive deeper inside. I love this thought.
That yoga “off the mat” is sometimes more challenging than physical asanas…this is especially true during a time of illness or injury. Once we stop fighting the inevitable and accept it as a learning opportunity, we heal faster physically while also growing mentally and spiritually.
Yoga can be habit-forming.
My neighbor got hooked and started attending classes 6 days a week.
Be aware if you have an addictive personality.
That a home practice is so, so, so important and helpful!
A little yoga can go a long way. Make time each and every day for your yoga practice… that can be as simple as breathing mindfully as you wake up, or wait in line or on the phone. As simple as sensing how you are feeling inside and out as you stand under the shower. As simple as a few yoga poses as you brush your teeth, make your coffee… wait for a bus. Life is yoga, yoga is life.
I learned (not exactly yoga but straight out of my Teacher Training) that our lungs are “uneven.” We have three lobes on the right and two on the left. They are uneven to accommodate our hearts.
Yoga is good for scoliosis (curvature of the spine)
No matter how tired/stressed/busy you are, it is necessary to take time for yoga. Even when it’s 10 pm and I don’t feel like getting off the couch, I make myself do yoga, and am grateful I do it every single time!
Yoga practice starts from where YOU are. It is easy to get wrapped up in what everyone else is doing or not doing, as well as what you were able to do yesterday or a year ago. Be present with the changes and listen to yourself every moment of every day. Where is it possible to allow change and where do you need to let go?
Yoga can help you lose weight. You become so much more aware of your own body. It helps tone your muscles and is a great cardio workout (if you do power yoga). I am hooked.
that yoga looks and feels different in every body and the fun part is moving towards what works with YOURS.
Yoga helps headaches.
That when you don’t feel like doing yoga is likely when you need it most.
Every asana is adaptable. No matter how you’re shaped or feeling, or what physical challenges you may have, you can do yoga.
And never underestimate the importance of a quality mat.
Yoga slowly chips away at laziness and fear.
Your yoga today may not be your yoga tomorrow. What feels like a challenge today, may feel great tomorrow.
Anyone can do it. Whether you are young, old, male, female, overweight, or underweight, you CAN do it. Take a breath and leave your fear at the door. You can make the yoga “fit” you.
That one of the very best gifts of yoga is that it’s a community. How can you measure the benefits of sharing energy with people who are blissful, spiritual and allowing of you and where you are? I get so excited going to class, knowing that’s part of it.
It helps me see more things that I otherwise would not notice. Like the beauty of a flower, or a field of damp grass that is catching the sun at just the right angle.
Yoga makes you strong. This is something that I didn’t expect at first. i thought it would just make you flexible and relaxed.
While yoga is an internal practice, the external benefits of connecting with likeminded people can result in even greater benefts than practice alone!
The internal benefits are far more precious than the external. And, considering how many ripped yogis there are, that’s saying something! 🙂
Each of us has subtle differences in the shape of our bones which means that our poses may never look like the poses in the books or on the cover of yoga journal — the joy is in finding and discovering the pose within yourself, and in the process, learning more about your inner self.
I was going to say what Tony said, so I’m tempted to say: Yoga teaches you to get comments in early at YogaDork.
But instead I’ll go with:
It’s best to be the “worst” one in the studio. You’ll get the most attention and progress the fastest.
(I feel I can use that judgmental term because it applied to me. Probably still does!)
Yoga is a great way to build in “me-time”. Everyone has their own crazy life but yoga can be just for you.
I love the relaxation.. and centering and breathing..
Letting all judgments go,and think just about my personal peace..
Yoga is a delicious, good-for-the-soul prayer at the altar of NOW.
(p.s. I am so enjoying this comment thread… such wonderful perspectives!)
yoga makes you brave
How far you can take your yoga poses may change daily. Some days my body just doesn’t move the same as it did the day before.
@Theresa: definitely. And how far your poses will take you, changes daily.
@Steve: completely agree about the blessing of being a beginner. I’m just starting to feel like I’m not a beginner as the changes I’m seeing at more subtle. Think I’ll start all over again tomorrow.
There’s a reason its called a yoga PRACTICE. It takes time, patience, and commitment, whether you are on the spiritual path or dabbling in only the physical postures. The difference is that practice does not equal perfect. It equals progress.
Be prepared for yoga to change your life. It begins as a physical experience but quickly evolves to a spiritual experience as well.
That no matter how much you dont feel like it/have time/moanmoangroan about doing your yoga practise, you will ALWAYS feel better after doing it!
When I practice yoga every day I love my body. I don’t worry about what I eat, I don’t worry about what I look like, I don’t worry about what other people see or think. When I don’t practice regularly those old feelings of not enough come sneaking back in. Nothing else changes, my weight doesn’t really fluctuate much, and my clothes fit and I always eat healthy so the yoga is the only difference. When I practice yoga every day I love my body….
28. Meditation before yoga practice makes yoga practice better!
A big lesson I’m learning at the moment is:
LESS IS MORE… (less effort, more results!)
Yoga can make you a better person. But that only happens when you truly engage in your practice.
Even if you don’t want to get on the mat, practice just for 10 minutes if you are starting to practice at home. Usually after 10 minutes I feel so good that I keep going.
You don’t really have to do yoga every day. I walk in the hills on the days I don’t do yoga. But once or twice a week is not enough to advance in yoga if you’re middle aged.
I’d like to know how often should one do yoga to start getting benefits from it? 🙂
When you teach yoga it becomes more challenging and more crucial to make time for your own personal practice.
Yoga practice aids your “sober practice”. And, if you’re like me, that sober thing seemed impossible for many years.
Also! To be a true teacher of yoga, one must be a true student of yoga–you can’t be an effective one without the other.
The 28th thing? Sometimes savasana is the hardest pose of your entire daily practice. Relaxing is hard, clearing your mind is even harder.
It gets better over time. 🙂
Know this: You will mercifully NEVER EVER hear Kenny G at a yoga class during savasana. And that’s an 80’s throwback for all you oldhead’s out there like me who used to do aerobics! Lord how I love yoga so much more!!!
But what if you LIKE Kenny G? I had done a home practice here and there in the mid-’90s and he was on my playlist ….
Exactly…the mid’90’s. In the 80’s, it was really overkill.
The 28th thing to know about yoga, is that if you start praciticing you will learn to enjoy all of its wonderful benefits, but it will make you even happier when others find yoga too.
Yoga is an opportunity to reach your fullest potential spiritually and physically. It therefore transforms your life in ways you never could expect the first time you set feet on a mat (or cushion).
Your yoga practice helps you soften on the inside….so that it is easier to get rid of the “clutter”, and focus on the important things in your world.
it’s ok to cry in savasana…
or any pose for that matter.
28. Doing Yoga first thing in the morning makes me more productive for the rest of the day – my mind is clearer, I’m more focused, I feel more balanced, calm, and simultaneously alert.
Start slowly. I made the mistake of jumping in to a class too advanced for me, so I gave up for a while. Then I sought out a beginners class and bought some books and am so happy! Start small and slow, as to not get discouraged!
There’s no such thing as achieving a pose. Poses aren’t something you master and then cross off the list. Rather, it’s a new experience every time you do a pose, whether it’s a pose you know well or one you’re trying for the first time.
That’s exactly right. In my own private little school of yoga, achievements are actually non-achievements …
While the Yoga Sutra is the ancient yoga text that gets 95% of the attention, the Bhagavad Gita is at least as exciting to anyone interested in the spiritual dimension.
It is possible to feel calm and energized simultaneously. A yoga practice will bring you there.
Push past the VOICE that says “I’ll do it tomorrow” and do it today. You’ll thank yourself at the end of your practice.
I’m sure this is already somewhere near the top of the 27 things; but in case it isn’t (or even if it is, it bears repeating): Listen to your body. This is your practice – it doesn’t belong to anyone else in the room. This is your mat, it serves you and only you. Honor yourself for where you are today and let go of this competitive spirit that you have to improve upon where you were last week, or that you have to hold sirsana longer than the person next to you. That attitude doesn’t progress your practice, it only hinders it (and hurts you).
If you’re new to yoga, try different teachers and different styles. I first tried yoga several years ago, and I thought it was OK, but I could take it or leave it. Years later I tried again with a different teacher who had a very different style and I loved it. So shop around.
Its about the breath!
28. The yoga changes every day. Be open to your changing body, your distracted mind, your tendency to rely on your own ego instead of the moment at hand. Look to those around you and your teachers for compassion, patience, beauty. Remember that if you can, you must. Only with time will you truly experience the yoga, but it is well worth the wait!
Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself; yoga can be spiritual and physically challenging, but your body can benefit as much from a smile as a yoga class, so don’t be afraid to incorporate it while doing seated chair pose or any other poses you may fall out of or find difficult.
28. Intention, Attention, Creation. 🙂
Your practice doesn’t judge….it will be there for you always.
Yoga brings up the good and the bad. The bad is necessary. It too is good.
Start now. I told myself I would start doing yoga when I lost more weight and held off. There is no perfect time or perfect moment. My body will work with yoga if I work with it, no matter how much I weight [or don’t weigh].
Open to the possibilities that poses you think you will never do may be in your future practice. It will blow open other areas of your life as well!
#28: Your asana practice is the foundation for your continued practice off of your mat. Yoga practice does not cease upon namaste. Live your practice through your dharma and share your light with all whom arrive in your path. Breathe deeply, love fully, and dedicate yourself completely into your Now.
28. leave your ego at the door! make it a conscious decision each time you enter a studio. the ego is the only thing that hinders the practice and simply knowing that can make all the difference on the mat.
You can do it anywhere, anytime. Between a full time job, a small child who misses me when I go to said job, and a side business selling yoga mats, I find it nearly impossible to get to a class.
My practices consist of about 45 minutes before the sun rises or outside of my office building (in a secluded spot, of course) during lunch hour. And it’s wonderful, because it’s yoga.
Good alignment is a skill that you learn with time. Be patient, work with the breath and try to find that space where the pose begins to feel comfortable. That’s when you really start to love yoga – when you realize that yes, some of these crazy poses actually are relaxing! 🙂
You already have everything you need. Practice without judgment and what you have will find the space to be.
28. Yoga is about creating space.
Without the breath, yoga is just exercise, with the breath it’s everything else.
Practicing yoga will change your life in ways you could never imagine. Practice, practice, practice, and all is coming!
Savasana is the greatest gift – ever.
Make it yours. I love going to class, but by dedicating myself to a daily practice I’ve been able to explore so much on my own as well. When I put on some music and explore my range of motion for a long time before getting into the “actual” asanas I always feel released, fresh and more joyful.
Breathe before you move. Whether you’re on your mat or in day to day life. If you fill your lungs completely and appreciate the breath, your every movement of mind and body will become a consistent flow of happiness. Plus it’s an immediate benefit!
An asana practice is just the beginning. Its purpose is to prepare you for the deeper practices of Yoga Take the benefits you’ve gained from a strong asana practice–a clear, discriminating mind; acquaintance with yourself through introspection; patience; and fortitude–and apply them to a daily pranayama and meditation practice. Asana can take you to the doorstep of enlightenment. Only pranayama and meditation can lead you through that door, however. You owe it to yourself to finish the journey on which you’ve embarked.
28. If done before bed it results in a relaxed body and good nights sleep
What are the main differences among different types of yoga? We are new to yoga. We have been reading some yoga books but not sure we have full understanding of the different types of yoga. Where can we find some good references?
Any recommendation for good yoga books talking about the different styles in a systematic way?
Thanks – Matt