The following is a guest post by Shar Ray from Dahn Yoga. I am very interested in learning more about Yoga and trying a class soon so when I was approached to allow for a guest post I was intrigued! 3 poses are included at the end. Enjoy!
In yoga, true growth often happens in the quiet moments, the moments when we simply breathe, simply listen. As the superficial chatter of the day melts away, only what is essential stays: the body, the breath, the mind.
We come to yoga for different reasons, but we all leave a little bit changed, perhaps a little wiser or a little more aware. We grow. So how can yoga help us grow in a positive direction? How can it bring us closer to our goals?
Dahn Yoga seeks to answer that question with the guiding principle of Shim Ki Hyul Jeong, which means “where the mind goes, energy follows.”
Shim Ki Hyul Jeong reminds us that there is a vital link between the reality we create in our minds and the reality that unfolds for us in life. It teaches us that thoughts are a powerful force that can influence our physical health, our environment, and even our relationships with others.
And those thoughts can work both for and against us.
If you feel that you’re not making progress towards goals you may have set earlier in the year, take a moment to check in with your mind. Have you created the mental space for your intentions to grow? Have you focused your energy on manifesting them in your life?
Research is now confirming what Dahn Yoga has always taught: mental energy can ripple out into the physical world, with very measureable results. For instance, Virginia Tech researchers Amar Cheema and Rajesh Bagchi have shown that the more you can visualize a particular goal, the more likely you are to reach it. Visualization creates the conditions for success.
Delve deeper, and the research gets even more fascinating. For instance, exercise psychologist Guang Yue discovered that people who did both physical workouts and “virtual workouts” in their minds were able to increase their muscle strength by 30%. Here’s the remarkable thing: those who only did “virtual workouts,” without any physical exercise, increased their muscle strength by 13.5%! It’s a beautiful example of the mind’s power to influence the physical realm.
So are your thoughts working for or against you? Where do they wander when you’re caught unaware? With every passing second, our thoughts influence our lives – even when we’re distracted or unaware of them. And all those thoughts – even those that simmer just below the level of consciousness – either support or sabotage our growth.
As we practice yoga, we benefit from a distinct awareness of body, breath, and mind. We’re present, we’re paying attention. It is an ideal time to focus our mental energy on specific goals, inviting success into our lives.
Below are three Dahn Yoga exercises that can help focus your mental energy and grow in a positive direction. As you do each exercise, focus on a specific goal and visualize yourself already having achieved it.
1. “Sleeping Tiger” pose — Lie on your back with both legs raised and bent at a 90 degree angle. Keep your feet parallel and your shoulders relaxed. Concentrate on the abdomen just below the navel and breathe deeply.
2.”Cobra” pose — Lie face down with the palms flat on the floor under the shoulders. Inhale while slowly raising the upper body and arching the back. Raise the head and concentrate on the lower back. Exhale and slowly return to the floor.
3. “Tapping” – Tapping is an age-old East Asian exercise for releasing tension and improving circulation. Use your fingertips to lightly strike the skin, focusing either on a specific body part, like your lower abdomen, or on the entire body. Relax your breathing as you tap.
Dahn Yoga is one of the largest yoga and tai chi companies in the world with its own unique style and brand of yoga. Dahn Yoga is rooted in the rich history of an ancient Asian mind-body practice, Sun Do, and in the wisdom of the Chun Bu Kyung.