F.A.Q.

Yoga is a tool for empowerment and a way of life. Yoga means to ‘yoke together’ or ‘unite’ polarities (good and bad, hot and cold, strong and weak, etc) to find balance in mind, body and spirit. We do this through regular asana (postural) practice, breath awareness, turning inward (self-reflection), concentration, meditation and by abiding to yogic community ethics and personal principles. 
 
Yoga allows us to study ourselves… to observe our thought patterns and our behavioural patterns so we can slowly allow the ones no longer serving us to unravel. As we start to shed these layers, these habits, we start to see our true nature; a kind, compassionate, loving human being, deeply connected to everyone and everything. This is the empowering part of yoga. When we can free ourselves of our negative and limiting beliefs we can begin to act more purposefully and live life more fully.
Yogic ethics and principles form the first two parts of the “eight limbs” of yoga.
 
Community ethics: 
– Non-harm to ourselves or anything (in thought, speech and actions);
– Avoiding lying; 
– Not stealing or taking what is not ours; 
– Avoiding excesses; 
– Non-grasping or possessiveness
 
Personal principles (observances):
– Cleanliness of body and mind
– Contentment
– Self discipline (do your best without over effort or overwork, leading to a simple life)
– Self study, including a study of spiritual texts (some of my recommendations: The Bhagavadgita, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, The Road Less Travelled, The Power of Now)
– Humility and self-surrender to a higher power
 
The other six limbs are: asana, breath awareness, turning inward, concentration, meditation and finally, enlightened living.

There is no right or wrong way to do yoga postures, per se. Modern understanding of human physiology and anatomy has helped to evolve yoga asana into a more functional practice, less focussed on how a pose looks in favour of how it feels in and serves our bodies, at any given moment. We are aiming for asana that is steady and easeful. This doesn’t happen overnight, especially if our bodies are stiff or hypermobile or minds busy or blank. But in time we may begin to become more steady and easeful in our postures and in life. Tune in to what the body is telling you in a given pose. Perhaps wriggle a little, or breath into the pose to explore how it will work for you. However, don’t do a pose just because it is desirable, and never work into pain.