Thursday, November 19, 2015

What is a balanced practice?



In yoga we have forward bending asanas, back bending asanas, twists, balancing asanas, inversions. We have asanas that focus on strength, others focus on flexibility. There are combinations of all this.

For me a balanced practice is if all these different sorts of asanas are practiced almost equally. Almost. I don't think it's necessary to exercise 5 forward bending asans and 5 back bending asanas and so on..... It's also fine to focus on one day on forward bending asanas, the other day on balancing asanas. Yet in sum it shall all be balanced.

Yoga exercises the entire body almost equally if done correctly. Even the toes and the perineum get attention (Janu sirsasana B and C). The hands become stronger and get stretched in many asanas. There is even an exercise for a strong neck (setu bandhasana).

The goal is to have an evenly exercised body. This can be achieved with a balanced practice. To practice primary over decades is not a balanced practice.

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My home practices are balanced. I focus on second series so to say. I practice the first half of it. I do extra asanas to prepare the deep back bending asanas like kapotasana. In comparison to all these forward bending asanas back bending was neglected in the last decade. I try to compensate this now. My practice today was painful. I took breaks when needed. One and a half hour is more than enough for me these days. My back gives me still trouble.
All doctors even sports doctors recommend moving. I do this, yet I listen to my body. I focus on what is possible and not painful. Otherwise I wait and observe what happens. Will my back be OK one day again? I don't know. However. I won't give up yoga.

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