You Should Try Yoga

fullsizeoutput_629“You should try yoga.”

How often have we heard that old chestnut?

Some people find their way to yoga to lose weight, to improve fitness or to gain flexibility and strength. And it’s true – yoga can do that. Yoga can also reduce lower back pain, relieve insomnia, lower stress and maybe even improve concentration.

But Patanjali makes it quite clear that there is one reason we should practice yoga. In chapter two of his Sutras he tells us that the reason why we should practice yoga is to still the fluctuations of the mind. Of course, when Patanjali writes about yoga he doesn’t mean our Lululemon-ed Western idea of yoga. There are eight limbs to yoga, and when Patanjali tells us that yoga stills the mind, he means a yoga practice that includes each and every limb.

But, for now, we’ll focus on the third limb: asana. The yoga postures.

This year at Artfully Twisted we’re introducing yoga postures in a way that will make them accessible to everyone in class. Through modifications and the use of props like chairs, blocks, bolsters and mats we will all have the support to build our 30-minute practice. After a few weeks we’ll add two more of Patanjali’s limbs to our practice: dhyana and pranayama – meditation and breathwork. Later we’ll add discussions on yoga philosophy and lifestyle. In that way we stay true to our intention of building an accessible, safe and comfortable personal practice.

This page will be a resource where those of us who are Artfully Twisted will find articles, book recommendations, sequences to practice (hopefully with photos and videos) and notes about what to expect in the weeks ahead.

I know what you’re thinking. But what about creative expression?

Each 90-minute Artfully Twisted session includes 45 minutes of creative expression in the form of arts, crafts or writing. On the surface our projects are designed for fun and, like our yoga practice, are accessible to everyone – even if you’ve never ‘done art’. On a deeper level, however, our creative expression time is an opportunity to drop into the flow and to wake up another part of our brain. But most of all it’s an opportunity to create in a supportive community.