Yoga Inversions: Step 1 – Do The Work!

From Fear To Fun

How does one go about conquering their fear of inversions?

Just do it.

That is to say in yoga, as in life itself, there are no shortcuts.

You have to do the work.

I heard a teacher tell that to a student last week when asked how to get better at a pose and it made the whole room laugh. Mostly because he acknowleged thst on some level we are all looking for a shortcut. A way to conquer our fears that is less difficult, less confronting, and of course quicker.

While there are certainly guidelines and principles that will guide you in being more efficient with your efforts, nothing can take the place of simply stepping onto your mat and doing the work.

Unrolling your mat is half of the battle.

There is a very true saying that goes “Where your attention goes prana flows”. In order to wake up “sleepy”  places inside our bodies we have to visit them. We must go about  reawakening them over and  over again.

It is scary. It kinda feels like walking out to the edge of a cliff and hanging ten of the side preparing for a high dive.

In order for it to feel second nature you have to go to that place where it is no longer comfortable or safe.

This is where the breath comes in. The breath keeps us in our bodies. It keeps us in the moment. It keeps us steady, easy and consistent.

Without the wisdom and guidance of the breath we also may become overly ambitious thrashing about unwittingly without proper limitations. The breath keeps us grounded, sensitive and aware.

photo credit: Marysia Weiss of The Hot and Healthy Blog. Photo by Jasper Johal

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Resources For The Sanskrit “Yoga Speak” Newbie

Angela Kukhahn in Upward Facing Dog in the Tuscan sunflower fields (yoga pose) photo by Tara RiceWhen I first found myself in a yoga class figuring out how to actually do Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) was a challenge enough,… let alone trying to learn the ancient language of Sanskrit. (the language of yoga)

To say I found Sanskrit intimidating is to put it mildly. All I knew is that  all the names of the poses sounded alike since the name of each pose ends in the word asana. (asana means pose, so Trikonasana is Triko which means Triangle followed by asana which means pose.) All I have to say is Yogi rappers have a huge advantage, but I digress….

After deciding I wanted to become a yoga teacher I was a little distraught  when I learned I was going to have to learn this ancient language of rhymes whether I liked it or not.

I must admit, at first I didn’t really see the point, however, as a teacher it has become essential for me to have a good grasp on both the Sanskrit names of the poses and basic Sanskrit terminology.

Click below for a few  great online resources to acquaint yourself with the Sanskrit names of poses, and commonly used yoga terms from the Sanskrit language.

I found these websites extremely helpful for you “new to Sanskrit” yogis!

This one www.tilakpyle.com is great because it has audio. The guy recorded his voice pronouncing the names of the poses in Sanskrit. If you click on the name of the pose it takes you to a page with photos of the pose and a description.

Also try www.YogaJournal.com for pronunciation and great photos and descriptions as well!

Also check out www.YogaDancer.com which gives you the all of the poses (even ones I’ve never heard of! ) and when you click on the pose it shows you all the different variations as well,…very cool!

Also for the meanings of a lot of commonly used Sanskrit terms check out Yoga Glossary.

Good Luck on your yoga journey!