How to get a Yoga Body
So many magazines and internet articles promise a “yoga body”. Many people think they can’t do yoga because they don’t look like the lithe, lean beauties usually associated with yoga. I used to only be able to “do” some poses when I was really lean. And crow balance was always beyond me. I was mystified seeing others taking a beautiful crow, when I was flumping on the floor like a sack of potatoes.
It was because I was trying to use sheer willpower and my external body. I wasn’t using my YOGA BODY. I’ve started to find it now and my crow pose is developing into all sorts of balancing adventures. And I’m doing this with a nice generous amount of body fat!
So what is this yoga body and how do you find it?
Take an easy seated position, close your eyes and watch your breath going in and out for a while. Become aware of how you can sit up straight whilst allowing your outer body to soften. Take your attention to the back of your lower spine, allow that natural curve there, but try and feel the muscles either side of your spine and draw the curve in a smidge.
Take your attention to the front of the lower spine, try to also lightly draw this in and up. Bring your finger tips to your lower belly, as you breathe become aware of the deepest abs (imagine a line between your hip bones and this folding in a little like a book closing). Your fingertips should hardly move but something is happening deep inside. As you exhale squeeze the pelvic floor a little (its what you use to stop you peeing) then move attention a little higher, to the bowl of muscle above, the pelvic diagraphm.
As you inhale, squeeze lightly along the front and back spine muscles, as you exhale squeeze lightly the pelvic diaphgram.
These feelings can be elusive and particularly at first can feel more like a visualisation or an imagination, than of something real.
This introduction to a ‘yoga body' can be really powerful– not only for physical poses - but for calming the central nervous system and musculature and for feeling strong in any situation.
This is the starting point for all of my Yoga work and where I suggest that you focus the beginning if your journey, whether newcomer or long-time Yogi. The best place to start, is only ever the beginning.