Matless Yoga Every Damn Day

As I write this, I am sitting at the balcony of a hostel in Phnom Penh, and have just finished yoga teachers training in Siem Reap. Frankly, I don't know if I really am ready to teach, but before I even got myself into this crazy idea (Me, a yoga teacher?! Not in my wildest nightmare!), I already was teaching yoga to my family and friends, the latest of which was teaching by the beach in southern Cambodia. It wasn't so hard--actually it felt second nature to me since I've been practicing it for two years. That seems like a long time but I'm still far from being "advanced". I guess I needed refinement and a deeper understanding of the whole practice.

What is Classic Yoga?

The course I went through in Siem Reap delved into classic yoga otherwise known as Raja Yoga. All other forms of yoga in human history developed from this, its pure, classic form. Essentially, practicing classic yoga purifies and charges the subtle bodies, where muscle toning and weight loss are but mere side effects. It's meant to clear up the gunk in one's energetic system through deep sacral breathing and simple effortless poses. Yoga in the media today is being misinterpreted as a stretching exercise or awkward, impossible contortions, when in truth it's a meditation practice that requires an understanding of breath work and subtle body anatomy.

Long-term Benefits of Yoga

Going Matless on the Naked Floor

Mainstream yoga is clunky with its needless complications and multiple props. Truth is, you don't really need any of them, unless you're physically impaired or disabled. Before the past few decades, people since the ancient times practiced yoga with just two things: one's body and an even ground. Wear something you're comfortable with and you're good to go. Going matless provides a pleasant tactile experience with different floor surfaces and creates more intimacy with the ground. In outdoor settings, doing yoga on the grass, beach, or open soil doubles as an earthing practice. But for those not used to feeling "dirty" with the naked floor, you can practice yoga on a blanket or towel.

Finding that Sweet Spot

Each pose has what is called a sweet spot. It's where everything feels painless, effortless, and deliciously orgasmic. It's like breathing a nice perfume for the soul, and allowing the body to release its natural bliss hormone. Before I reached that feeling, I practiced yoga in a studio for several months and at the time I went solo, I just subscribed to leading yoga instructors on youtube. It's actually quite simple. You just need to know how your body feels and how you feel. If it feels like a bitch, you're not meant to practice that pose yet! It's helpful to read up on harnessing the power of deep, conscious breathing to illuminate the subtle bodies.

// Jan 2018

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