The 3 guiding principles of yoga

Experts, Divya Kohli and Zephyr Wildman, identify the cornerstones of a successful yoga practice, as the novice begins the journey towards the release of stress, transformation and enlightenment


The 3 guiding principles of yoga

1. Be consistent

Whatever style you choose, stick with it. ‘Developing a yoga practice is a bit like building a successful relationship,’ says Hatha yoga teacher, Divya Kohli. ‘The “juice” of yoga can only really come from consistency and commitment. If your teacher and style of yoga changes dramatically every week, you won’t build on what you already know, in order to grow and explore your practice. Persistence, patience and humility bring a sense of grace, just as with any relationship.’

2. If in doubt, breathe out

Taking a breath can change the way that you view things. ‘Yoga gives people more resilience to discern between “this is me reacting” versus “this is me responding” to any given situation,’ says yoga teacher, Zephyr Wildman. ‘Remember, it’s OK to have emotions that we label “undesirable”, as long as we don’t pass them onto someone else!’

3. Delay gratification 

‘Yoga teachings have shown us that the best way to evolve the mind is by delaying gratification,’ says Wildman. ‘Next time you have a free moment, don’t browse social media or put on the car radio – sit with your feelings. Learn to get comfortable with being idle in the moment. The more time we spend being OK in our own skin, the better we are able to be there for a friend going through tough times, to be of service to someone in need, or do our best creative work.’

Photographs: iStock