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See, that wasn't so bad! We hope you even thought it was kind of fun! And now that you're finished, it's time to score your test. Here goes: You get an A+. It's true! You answered every single question correctly.

If you find that, when evaluating yourself, most of your answers are negative ones ("I'm selfish," "I have low self-esteem," "I don't have very many friends," etc.), nip that negative self-talk in the bud! Whenever you catch yourself forming a negative thought, restate it in the positive ("I am aware of my needs," "I often put others first," "I have a few really good friends").

This test has no wrong answers, but that doesn't diminish your accomplishment. You have undertaken a fairly intense self-evaluation, and what you have learned will only make your yoga practice more fulfilling and effective. Continue to think about your answers to these test questions as you go through your day. Consider it the beginning of a beautiful friendship with your higher self.

The first step is getting to know all of you—even the parts of you that you aren't so proud of. The next step is learning to be proud of the whole package. We hope you have a better idea of your own self-concept after taking this quiz, but even if you aren't completely pleased with what you discover, the most important thing you can do now is accept yourself. You are a unique individual, and you are human. You may think you're not perfect, and, or, that nobody is perfect. We could argue that, deep down, everyone is perfect.

But we are all moving through life, exploring who we are, where we are, and why we are. We're all working toward self-discovery at our own pace.

Take it easy on yourself. You're working at your own speed and learning as you go, like the rest of us. You are an amazing person, worthy of self-respect and self-love. In fact, you are miraculous. Feel good about who you are and where you are, and yoga will be a natural avenue of self-care.

In the next chapter, we'll actually start learning different yoga postures, or asanas. But before we do, let's examine a few ground rules that apply to every posture. Actually, these are not rules so much as sound advice and helpful hints to encourage you to optimize your yoga practice and make the most of each moment.

First, let's look at some general rules for poses. Before you start posturing, keep these important yoga tips in mind:

> Hold each pose for three breaths (both inhalation and exhalation) to start, and gradually increase the time you hold each pose, as you're able to do so.

> Don't feel you have to look just like the picture! More important, find peace within each pose, and progress as your body allows you to.

> For each pose, make sure you have a counterpose to keep your body balanced. For example, bends to the right should be balanced with bends to the left, forward bends with backbends, contractions with expansions, and so on.

> Generally speaking, exhale as you go into forward bends and inhale as you go into backbends.

Wise Yogi Tells Us

If you find yourself reluctant to complete this test because you don't like to write, try speaking the answers into a tape recorder or even discussing the questions with a close friend. The point is to get yourself thinking about who you are, what you think, and what your personal journey is all about.

Wise Yogi Tells Us

If you find yourself reluctant to complete this test because you don't like to write, try speaking the answers into a tape recorder or even discussing the questions with a close friend. The point is to get yourself thinking about who you are, what you think, and what your personal journey is all about.

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The Power Of Yoga

The Power Of Yoga

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