how to become a vinyasa yoga instructorBy: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed

The practice of the physical postures of Yoga is a wonderful tool for increasing our awareness of the way we move in the world. When we are practicing Yoga postures, the subtle nuances of how we move our bodies, our habitual thought patterns and a commitment or lack of commitment to the postures becomes strikingly evident. With an increase in self-awareness, it is much easier understand how the obstacles we are encountering in our life are generated by our habitual ways thinking and moving in the world.


Yoga Class Opening II by paul-jerard

After clarifying and implementing a sankalpa, or guiding purpose for the coming year, you may be encountering some obstacles. As we walk the Yogic path and work on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors, the obstacles we encounter will become highly visible. By using a mindful awareness approach to the way we practice Yoga postures, the obstacles that we encounter in our physical practice of Yoga can be utilized as a succinct reflective tool of our own internal state, which can dramatically increase our understanding of how we create the obstacles we are encountering in our lives.

For instance, the practice of Warrior II may quickly highlight a lack of concentration and a wandering mind. As you practice Warrior II, take a moment to see if your mind quickly becomes bored with holding a steady drishti, or gazing point on the horizon, as you hold the posture. Does this lack of patience and focus translate into a lack of patience and focus on daily tasks at work or at home? If you slow down and breathe deeply, and keep gently guiding your mind back to your drishti point, you will begin to increase your ability to focus and concentrate on the task in front of you.

At first, your mind may object and insist on composing your grocery list or other ‘to do’ items as you practice the Yoga asana. By using the practice of Warrior II as a reflective tool, your habitual mental stance in the world will become immediately evident, and you will be offered the opportunity to shift gears and change a mental habit that is not serving your highest good. As you gently shift unsupportive mental habits towards more effective and uplifting thought patterns, it will become easier for you to implement and sustain the sankalpa that you have set for yourself for the coming year.

© Copyright – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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