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Thursday nights Yoga at the Burren Yoga and Meditation Centre

The subject of Yoga is as vast as the sky. It is an ancient Indian culture, presented to us by sages not only to gain physical health but also to achieve the higher aims of life. This 10 week course, will try to guide the student to know where to begin and how to proceed further in their own yoga practice.

The syllabus that will be covered will consist of about 30 asanas, or postures. Emphasis will be given to the intermediate stages of some of the asanas since pupils are not always able to go directly to the final asana. These intermediate stages certainly are of no less importance.

A variety of asanas are included to achieve the goal of improving the body structure and lubricating the joints, creating freedom of movement in the joints. The asanas also strengthen and lengthen the ligaments and muscles. The asanas have been selected with the view that they will tone the internal organs and strengthen the nerves.

All the systems of the body (such as the digestive, respiratory, circulatory, glandular, muscular, skeletal, excretory, reproductive, lymphatic and nervous systems) are taken into consideration to create a harmonious functioning of these systems. This in turn prepares one physically, psychologically and mentally to take to the practice of pranayama (advanced breathing techniques).

This syllabus will have standing, sitting, twisting asanas, along with forward, backward and supine extensions. There are also abdominal contractions and inversions (postures where the body is upside down). Considerable work will be done with standing postures to strengthen the legs and arms. The classification of the asanas enables us to analyse our own body movements, measure our will power, and penetrate into the consciousness, so that during the course of practice, the consciousness is directed within, enriching our life, making it positive and meaningful.

Yoga tips

Here are a few hints, cautions, rules and regulations for the practitioners.

  • The stomach and the bowels should be empty. Allow four hours after a heavy meal, two hours after a light one.
  • Do not wear tight clothes that restrict breathing, digestion or circulation.
  • Do not practice in direct sunlight or in a cold room.
  • Do not hold the breath while doing any of the asanas. Breathe normally. Always inhale or exhale through the nose. Inhale or exhale where it is specified. Concentrate more on the performance of the correct posture rather than the breath. The particulars of breathing become known only when one is properly established in the asanas. If the asana is correct, the breath moves properly.
  • To avoid injury, do not force the body beyond its capacity.
  • Backaches and various weaknesses come to the fore during practice. If this happens, consult the teacher.
  • Any pain felt in a posture should be temporary. Persistent pain is a sign of incorrect practice or of a physical problem.
  • If exhaustion is felt, the practice has been too long or the wrong postures have been attempted. It may also indicate a weak physical condition or some ailment.
  • During menstruation it is not advisable to do inversions. There is heat in the body and cooling postures are done to counteract this. Please consult the teacher for alternative postures when menstruating.
  • Do not practice immediately after doing physical exercise. There should be a time gap for recovery.