Ok dear Yogis! This post is something that I had been wanting to publish for months, but for some reason I only managed to locate it from my archives until now. Like the Zen saying goes – ‘Now’ is the appointed time!
Maybe you had been practicing for decades, years, or maybe you had just begun the journey of self exploration with the body. Whichever it is, I am sure you will be interested to learn that there are lifestyle tips that you can incorporate to get more out of each practice.
Sounds good? Here goes:
1) Take a cold shower before practice
I know it does not sound too pleasant, especially for those of us who like to practice in the mornings. The thing is, cold showers constricts our blood vessels and increases their elasticity, preparing them to transport more energy when we practice.
For someone like me who practices in the mornings, the cold showers always ‘shakes things up’. At first I would squirm and jump around; but after the first few seconds it feels so good and I would break into smile and song.
The only exception to this I would say is probably to refrain from it on the first 3 days of menstruation – for the ladies. In which case, it is good to either take a break from practice anyway, or do a modified practice with significantly less strenuosity.
2) Try not to shower immediately after practice
This is especially true if you are a seasoned Yogi. Water is a conductor of electricity. The sweat emitted from the body right after practice are charged with Prana, and if we shower immediately it could wash away quite a bit of energy. It may deplete Chi and make us tired.
In fact, ancient teachings (conveyed by Swami Rama from his book The Path of Light and Fire) encouraged dedicated Yogis to massage the sweat back into the pores after practice! I know it sounds a little gross for us modern urbanites; well… if we stink after each practice, maybe its time to eat a living foods diet, or at least a 50% clean diet. How clean our bodies are internally actually shows up in our smells and sweat!
Most people I know love how they smell after switching to eating more Living Foods. Their spouses and partners love it too! Try it and you will know what I mean.
3) Start doing home enemas
You think you are what you eat? Yes that’s true.
Although I have something to add to that – ‘You are what you do not poop!’
Remember the times when you were constipated, perhaps for a few days, and then finally you managed move the bowels? Did you notice it immediately felt like heaven?
If you want to feel lighter, make your mind quieter, and experience deeper meditation, don’t forget to clean those pipes Yogis. Home enemas can be easily self administered, are cost efficient, and so good for shifting states. It takes a little getting used to, if you are new to it. But after a couple of sessions you would become an expert.
Feel free to check with me in class if you want to start doing home enemas but don’t know how to do it yet. I would be most happy to share 🙂
4) Remember to make sound
Sound is the manifestation of Prana.
When you strengthen Prana, you strengthen Sound; when you purify Prana, you purify Sound, and vice versa.
Any Yoga practice that omits sound, in my humble opinion, seems somewhat incomplete. Mental states of thinking, judging and fear of being judged, are sneaking around somewhere if we are not making sound while holding an Asana. We can hear the instructions “Be with your breath and focus on the now” a hundred times but the mind simply has another mind of its own.
However, the moment you do a Bhramari, the mind has to come to the present. Many teachers are unaware of the power of the Bhramari Pranayama. Bhramaris have been researched in India, and its been proven that 20 minutes of practice a day have the ability to reverse any hormonal and adrenal imbalances of the body.
20 minutes a day versus years and years of medications, pills, maybe even surgery, sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
Besides Bhramaris, Mantras are another method using sound to train Prana, although its effects work more on the mind, rather than on Prana. Something very noteworthy (for the thirsty Yogi-fanatics) is that: Mantra Yoga is an essential component of Tantra, and Tantra is in fact the juice of all Yoga.
5) Be intentional
As with anything you do in life, be intentional. Before you do something, ask yourself what is the outcome you want from your practice. Beginning with the end in mind is one of the most powerful manifestation practices I’ve ever known. And of course, knowing does not equate mastery. We do not really understand a principle until we are able to demonstrate it with results.
Starting with your very next practice, start to set intentions. Start with one intention per practice. It does not have to be elaborate. The simpler the better. It could be for your health, to gain a certain realization, to solve a problematic situation in the highest possible good or simply, just for the liberation of your loved ones.
I like to offer my daily practice for the happiness and health of all my loved ones, friends and Yoga students. In a very intricate way, we are all one, people to plants to all living things to Earth and to every star in the galaxy. We are all connected in a beautiful interwoven tapestry of life. This is the highest cultivation of Yoga, known as Tantra (of its many translations, one of my favorite is ‘loom’).
Has this article been helpful to you? I hope it helps you get more satisfaction and enjoyment out of your practice. Namaste Yogis!
(C) Copyright Linda Loo