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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Am I Doing It Right?

by Graham Fowler

Naturally, that’s often the first thing people think about when they take their first yoga class. They want to make sure they’re practicing in a way that they can get benefits without getting hurt.

In time, they begin to notice that when their physical alignment is good, it just feels better. That noticing means that something good is happening: increased sensitivity to subtle flows of energy in the body. It is the beginning of a beautiful journey of awakening.

The body closes down around pain, whether the pain is physical or emotional. That closing down can be a useful, protective gesture, but it often outlives its usefulness.

When the body closes down, we cut ourselves off from parts of ourselves, and not just physically. We also cut ourselves off from the ability to meet people, situations and the world with our whole being.

A famous American Yogi once said, “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.”

His name was Yogi Berra. Inspired by Yogi’s 90/50 rule, the recipe each month will be 1 scoop of practice and 2 tablespoons of philosophy — exploring ideas about yoga in its many forms — because knowledge is secondary to experience.

The goal of these articles is to deepen your yoga practice, whether you practice in a studio, a gym or at home; to introduce principles and practices that support that deepening; and to connect the dots between practice and everyday life.

Many issues will include a yoga posture, with minimal physical guidance — as most readers already have access to that component — instead, placing more attention on principles and self-inquiry that you can apply wherever you practice. And from practicing on the mat you will see these principles begin to inform and inspire you to live your life, more and more, as a yogi.

This article is a first look at some of these principles. Future articles will expand on them, gradually unfolding all of yoga’s eight limbs. Continue to page 31 for Graham’ Fowler’s Asana of the month.


Contact Graham Fowler, founder of Peachtree Yoga, at [email protected]

Image: NEstudio/

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