The Gentle I Instructional CD is a beginning level yoga instruction for flexibility, strength and well-being.
And drink in awareness with each breath. Breath brings intelligence into the body. Bring this awareness, this intelligence down into your belly … Relax your neck and shoulders; relax your face and hands. Relax your body. And let your mind become calm. And let’s attune our energies and chant the sacred sound of interconnectedness, the sound of Om.
As you can see, the intention of Gentle Yoga is to relax the body, integrate emotions, and calm the mind. This is the first of three gentle sequences I developed while teaching literally hundreds of classes at Kripalu and in the villages of Central Vermont. The sequences were designed in such a way so that anyone who came to class could easily follow along and benefit deeply.
Of course, you benefit most from yoga with regular practice. The best yoga for you is the yoga that you can integrate into your lifestyle. I encourage you to practice daily even if for only 15 minutes. Otherwise consider using the full 80-minute practice, or one of the 40 minute sessions on one of the sides.
There is a general rule of thumb: if it doesn’t feel right for your body, don’t do it. Also please consult with your physician to insure that your yoga practice is appropriate and won’t complicate any pre-existing conditions.
Yoga stimulates the circulation as well as releasing tension. This may not be appropriate in every circumstance and you and your doctor may need to communicate. When you have an injury or inflammation, it is generally best to avoid stimulating the area with movement. My general recommendation: stretch to a degree that you can relax into and still breathe easily. Also, if you feel sharp sensations in the joints, back off. Let the stretch be in the “belly” of the muscle.
Generally speaking, a gentle yoga approach can support overall health and most healing processes.