Monday, November 28, 2016

The Bodhi Flow

As I've been going through Yoga Teacher Training I have gone back and forth between wanting to practice either following along in a class or video or wanting to just free flow and do whatever felt right for my body at the time. As a parent and full time professional, I can say that some days if I didn't just free flow a few poses before dropping into my evening meditation, I would go days or weeks without practicing yoga. So, for me at this point in my life I do find some value in having the knowledge to tackle the things I need most at that time.

When I have the time and space to participate in a full practice I can tell you it's night and day different. A full practice can provide you with the structure you need to find balance. A well structured practice often has seated poses, standing poses, backbends, and maybe even some inversions. It will ensure you're working both the left and right sides of your body equally and will provide you the adequate time to process your practice in Savasana.


One of the practices we learned during our training is called the Bodhi Flow. It's a series of poses that flow together with the focus of opening and strengthening the entire body from the inside out. The movements are slow and steady and work with the breath unlike some practices force you to shorten your breath because they move so quickly. The Bodhi Flow is appropriate for most people who are in good health whether they are beginners to yoga or more advanced students. There are four tiers (or series of poses) to the Bodhi Flow which means as a beginner you could just go through tier one and end your practice or if you were an advanced student you could go through all four tiers. You can also modify the individual poses to support your specific needs and abilities.

Tier one is used to warm the body, tier two increases flexibility, tier three increases strength and vigor, and tier four allows you to release tension and relax the mind. When put together the Bodhi Flow creates a well balanced practice that can be a great foundation for any student.

Do you prefer to follow a structured practice or do you tend to do a few poses to address specific needs? Do you have any favorite videos or instructors you practice with regularly? Do you have a favorite yoga style?

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