Gifts of a Yoga Practice

By Tracy Carruth

Through the practice of yoga, one can devote a small portion of their day to developing a healthy body, peaceful mind and joyful spirit. The practice of yoga not only improves your fitness level it also releases stress, tension and anxiety; it helps bring focus and calmness into the mind.

The mind is astonishingly powerful. Yoga helps harness this power through meditation and focus on the breath, relieving negative, incessant thinking—something many of us do often and without awareness. Regular practice creates calmness, harmony and a positive outlook. When the body and mind are happy and healthy, we are less distracted and have more energy to connect on a deeper level to what some may call the Divine, Soul or Spirit. We can be truly present in our lives.

Yoga improves the health and well-being of our bodies and mind. It stretches and tones our muscles, promoting strength, flexibly and balance. Through stretching and twisting poses, yoga detoxifies by increasing blood circulation to all areas of the body and gently massaging organs and glands. This improves the functioning of the immune system. As a woman becomes more aware of her body, she is better able to detect signs of imbalances and early signs of any illness. With clarity of mind and a healthy body she is more connected to her wisdom and intuition.

Study after study has shown that people who practice yoga reap many rewards. Yoga can help insomnia, relieve chronic pain, reduce stress, improve mood and significantly improve health. The daily practice of yoga raises our level of awareness and consciousness, helping us to connect with our truth and goodness. Yoga is healing and transformative.

Gifts of a Yoga Practice

Gifts of a Yoga Practice

Top 10 Tips for Attending a Yoga Class
1. Recognize that simply attending a yoga class is a major statement of courage, self-care and positive momentum.
2. Pay more attention to your internal experience rather than to your outer performance. Do not try to compete or compare yourself to others.
3. Find an edge in the pose where you are challenged but not overwhelmed. Maintain a clear, open and accepting mind. Stay connected to your intuition and wisdom.
4. Give yourself permission to take a break and rest. Give yourself appreciation and gratitude for your effort and innate goodness.
5. Stay focused on an intention that is positive and meaningful to you. (For example: strength, well-being, peace, kindness, or healing.)
6. Go to class regularly, arrive a little early and talk with the other students. The support and unique community in yoga is wonderful.
7. Recognize that you are developing qualities like patience, compassion, discipline, wisdom, right effort, kindness, gratitude and many others that create a steady and peaceful mind.
8. Find a teacher who offers a balance between kindness and firmness and whose teaching inspires you to practice from your highest self.
9. Realize that you inspire and serve others when you are more connected to your truth and positive intentions.
10. Relax and have fun! If the practice isn’t joyful, you will have a difficult time being devoted.

The ancient teachings of yoga are based on these eight principles:
1. Yama/Restraint: Actions best avoided
2. Niyama/Observance: Positive actions to cultivate
3. Asana/Posture: Releasing gross tensions from the body
4. Pranayama/Breath Regulation: Harmonizing body, mind, and breath
5. Pratyahara/Introversion: Withdrawing attention from external distractions
6. Dharana/Concentration: Focusing the mind on a single point
7. Dhyana/Meditation: Accessing a state of flow
8. Samadhi/Oneness: Effortless, integrated being

Tracy Carruth, 500RYT
Tracy Carruth is the founder and director of Yoga Balance in McKinney TX, established in 2004 and holds degrees in Kinesiology and Business. Tracy has been blessed to attend trainings with the country’s finest yoga masters and graduated from Life of a Yogi 500 Hour Advanced Teacher Training with Sri Yogi Dharma Mittra in New York City.

Imparted from the lips of the Guru and Sadhaka Dharma Teachers, Tracy has received training in the classical Eight Limbs of Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation, Ahimsa Vegetarianism Diet, Assisting and Adjusting, Satsang of Yogic Truth Lessons and Yoga Scriptural Studies. It is Tracy’s hope to embody and impart these teachings and the virtues of yoga to service others on their yoga journey for radiant health and spiritual development.

Tracy has also attended Teacher Trainings with Judith Lasater, Rod Stryker, Shiva Rea and Edward Clark. She is deeply grateful for all her gurus, their knowledge and devotion to the path of self realization

About the Author