Sunday, March 4, 2007

Hatha Yoga for Beginners: Tools for Happiness

By Paul Jerard

After spending time in a class with your Yoga teacher, for an hour or two, the commute home is more tranquil. You left anxiety back at the entrance of your Yoga class and have discovered inner peace again.

How do you keep that feeling of tranquility? Would you like to order “Yoga to go” or package some “piece of mind?” If only it were that easy, but here are some tools that will help you re-discover that “Yogic high,” until your next Yoga class.

Listening to music that soothes your inner being is a start. It does not matter which style you choose. Only you can determine which form of music brings out the best in you.

Music has the ability to make negative distractions fade away. This will enable you to focus on your daily tasks. Be aware that some people may find the music you listen to irritating. A good set of headphones, or playing your music at a low volume, is a considerate gesture to others, but remember that playing music requires the right time and place.

There are many Yoga and meditation books available. There are also many useful CD’s and DVD’s, which can teach you new things about Yoga. It is advisable to take notes on the Yoga techniques demonstrated, before jumping into an at-home Yoga or meditation practice.

Before you ever learn to meditate, you must first learn to relax. Many Yoga students want to get straight to meditation, and are upset, with themselves, for relaxing. There is no need to make Yoga meditation into a goal, a problem, or a stressful situation.

Even if you fall asleep – who cares? No one is counting score. Self-study with Yoga books, CD’s, music, DVD’s, or Yoga teacher certification is at your own pace. Too many of us are in a rush without having a purpose. Enjoy the journey and smell the flowers as you go.

Another tool for happiness and focusing is a warm bath. This is simplistic, but it is a wonderful relaxation method before Yoga practice, meditation, or bedtime. Beside the fact that bathing makes us feel clean, we are focusing on the pleasure of bathing and living life in the moment.

Self-affirmations create a positive mind-set and build self-confidence. When you have self-confidence, positive thought becomes reality, and happiness is your companion.

Pranayama is a powerful method for expelling stress, anxiety, and daily pressure from your system. Sometimes, Pranayama can have an instant and positive effect on your mind and body. You can practice Pranayama anywhere, therefore, you are not limited by time or space.

Lastly, prayer is a powerful tool for happiness. It does not matter which religion you practice. Prayer has therapeutic value for everyone of any religion.

Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in Attleboro, MA. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. To receive a Free e-Book: "Yoga in Practice," and a Free Yoga Newsletter, please visit:

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