Set the mood for your practice. Create a space for yourself so that the divine energy can flow. By creating a special time and a place for your practice you are sending an auto-suggestion to your brain and body. Essentially, setting the mood manipulates your brain to get into the practice and helps you achieve consistency. Here are a few pointers to establish a welcoming, encouraging space for your practice as well as the basic structure of sivananda yoga…
Tips to trick your brain into starting:
- Create an open space for yourself. If there are too many physical things around you it will clutter your practice and distract your mind.
- Your room or area should be clean and neat. This will keep your brain from composing a tidying to-do list in the midst of your practice.
- If it helps, burn incense or play music before beginning your session. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but it has the ability to put you in a peaceful state of mind.
The basic structure of sivananda yoga consists of the following:
- Start your practice in savasana (proper relaxation) or corpse pose. Relax for as long as necessary, but the initial relaxation typically lasts for 5 minutes.
- Sit up in a comfortable, seated position and begin with a prayer or set an intention for your practice.
- Practice pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, and/or “om” chanting.
- Work on various Asanas (poses).
- Final relaxation occurs with a second savasana/corpse pose.
- Conclude with a prayer or with thoughts which focus on expressing gratitude.
Note: Some variations and adaptations of this routine are possible, but the basic structure remains the same. Starting and ending your practice with savasana is just as important as the more physical exercises. Savasana creates another autosuggestion. One that will systematically relax your body from the feet, upwards. The entire structure involves concentration, breathing, and relaxation.
During your practice:
- Focus your mind on your breath.
- Do not strain or force your breath or any of the asanas (poses).
- Listen to your body. Your body will let you know if something is too much.