April 8, 2010

Is Doing Yoga Once a Week Enough?

Hi and welcome to my first blog!

After teaching and hosting retreats since 2002 I have founded Santosha Yoga Retreats. Santosha is a Sanskrit word; it means ‘contentment’. Our challenge is to find contentment, no matter what life brings us. Yoga helps us to realize this goal.

Committed to teaching and realizing my strong desire to help others, my new ‘name’ and new website seem to represent and reinforce this commitment. As does this blog.

Is doing yoga once a week enough?

Right from the first time I tried yoga when I was 18; carefully following instructions from a book (Kareen’s Yoga), I felt the magic of the yoga practice. Is this a statement issued by all who try yoga? Yes….probably. Yoga is such a simple practice yet so profound; such a simple concept (stilling the mind), yet so challenging.

For the next 28 years I struggled to keep a practice going at home. I was a potter. I made handmade pottery for those 28 years as well as raising 3 children. I knew that when I made time for my practice everything seemed to go much more smoothly.

In 2002 Yoga Teacher Training was offered at my home of Salt Spring Island. At the age of 48, I jumped at the chance to take this offering. With yoga teacher training came a wealth of information and knowledge. There was enough reading and studying for at least of couple of life times. I loved it.

During the course of my training I learned many other methods to calm my mind. I learned that yoga was a science and a philosophy, as well as a physical practice. Yoga science is an amazing analysis of the inner workings of the mind. Yoga philosophy is full of ancient wisdom and guidelines to help us understand life.

I was overwhelmed; but my intellect loved it. My life was enriched.

Before I had this gift of knowledge I did yoga on a purely experiential level. In other words, I simply did the practice without knowing the reasons or inherent benefits of what I was doing. I still experienced many physical, mental and emotional benefits. Learning more about yoga through the wealth of knowledge passed on to me by my teacher Baba Hari Dass, as well as the many wonderful books on the subject has greatly enriched my practice and my life. But, the most important thing of all is that we practice. No matter how much or how little knowledge has been imparted to us. We must practice, even if it is once a week.

Daily practice can be an unrealistic goal for many. I believe that being realistic about what you can maintain over a long period of time (the rest of your life!) is more important. If you try to do an unrealistic amount of yoga you will not be able to maintain the practice over a period of time. If all you have time for is one regular class/practice a week you will still experience very worthwhile results.

Maybe someday you will have time to do more….or maybe not.Do what you can!

The more you do, the more benefits will come…very simple.

“If you work on yoga,
yoga will work on you”

~Baba Hari Dass~

Retreats are wonderful ways to deepen your practice:

  • Give your body a healthy ‘wake-up’ call.
  • Learn methods to calm your mind, such as pranayama and meditation.
  • Eat absolutely delicious vegetarian cuisine.
  • Be inspired to lead a healthy lifestyle.
  • Heal. Rejuvenate. Have fun!

Upcoming posts: How to sneak yoga into your life! and Will I become a better person if I do yoga? (hmmmm…)