Using drishtis (focal points) in yoga offers great benefits including enhanced balance, increased inner awareness and concentration, reduced distractions, and greater connection to breath. While some styles of practice have specific drishti points, we will look at some basic elements of setting focal points to insure that optimum benefits and quality in postures are being delivered.
Becoming 'more flexible' is one of the more common interests for people entering a yoga program. Many studies from exercise science and yoga increasingly demonstrate the immense benefits of stretching including increased range of joint motion and tissue extensibility (aka 'increased flexibility'). One aspect that is rarely addressed in the development of flexibility is stretch tolerance. Let's discuss how yoga stretching offers benefits in improving stretch tolerance along with some mindful cautions.
We are very familiar with the general concept of yoga being about 'balance' and 'harmony' for the physical, mental, and energetic body. These relationships of balance cross their respective boundaries influencing each other. In terms of the physical body, it is essential that we respect the musculoskeletal relationship of balanced muscle tension.
Although I am a ‘morning person’, I must admit my body resists doing practices in the early hours of the day. Traditional yogis believe yoga should be practiced very early in the day for a variety of energetic, physical and mental benefits. Some of these benefits I can agree to especially with regards to tapping into the grounded brain waves from sleep and setting a harmonious energy for the day ahead. Aside from the energetic qualities, I have come across research that can give strong reasoning for why some people could readily benefit from doing yoga later in the day.