Tuesday, September 14, 2010

are you an advanced yogi? psst, it means more than just twisting yourself into a pretzel

Both yoga and ayurveda are highly refined practices. On the outside the yoga postures appear to be gross, exaggerated and BIG. We can see arms, legs, and torsos forming triangles, squares, side angles, trees, lions, and even warriors.

But I think, practice, and teach that there is soooo much more to yoga than meets the eye. The real juice to the practice is much more subtle, it's so refined that it cant be seen with my eyes as I'm leading you through a class.

To me this is where the pose (asana) meets the mind and the heart. And we might use the breath to access both. Matters of the breath, mind, and heart are much more subtle than the actually pose on the mat.

This is one of the reasons why I always say that one can never tell how "advanced" a yoga student is during an asana practice. Sure you may be able to pull off amazing feats with your physical body, but what amazing feats can you perform when it comes to matters of the mind and heart?

You may be standing in a forward fold so deeply that the crown of your head is on the floor. You could be thinking....

"When are we even gonna move onto another pose. Clearly I've already mastered this one. Why the heck are we even doing this pose,I mean this is a Level 2 class after all. I wonder what I'll have for dinner tonight. Mmmm, hummus sounds good. But I had that yesterday. Oh good, we're finally moving onto another pose. I thought that was never gonna end. Inhale....

You could be in the same class, same pose (even standing next to this person above) folding forward, fingertips no where near the floor so no chance the crown is going down (unless you fall over of course) and thinking....

"Alright this is where I am for today. Even though my head is no where near the floor I can be in the moment in this pose and feel a sense of gratitude for my body. I can practice patience right now. Oh wait, I'm thinking....inhale, exhale. Repeat.

You tell me which is the more advanced student? Especially when it comes to matters of the body, mind, and heart. Luckily for us, practicing the full scope of yoga (not just the poses) brings better balance to all. Yipsters!

I present these two angles not to show how different we are (cause ultimately I really do believe that we are one and want us to act this way).

I present these so that we start to open our minds about the yoga practice and our experiences with our body is only a lil' part of the overall yoga picture. :)

Happy body, mind, and heart to you today my friends!

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