Wednesday, September 15, 2010

why i adore yoga

A couple days ago I blogged about how I can't really tell how advanced you are as a yogi simply by looking at you. Also I didn't put a whole lot of emphasis on the asana (yoga poses) part. So if it's not about perfecting the pose what's it all about?

First off let me say that I love love love the asana practice. I love partaking in it, I love teaching it, I love being a witness to it.

In fact sometimes while I'm teaching I get totally blown away by just how beautiful the vinyasa practice is. Really, to witness a room of people moving with their breath, engaging in this dancelike yoga practice is ahhhmazing. For yoga teacher training students are required to observe classes. Over and over I hear, "Wow, I never realized how beautiful a yoga class is." **side note, we are taking applications for 2011 training in Lexington.**

I celebrate myself when I finalllly feel like I get a pose.
I celebrate you when I see you finalllly getting a pose you've been working diligently on. It feels pretty cool to feel stronger in a pose. And to feel more open and flexible in my body.

I know how fantastic the yoga practice is for our physical body. With this part alone you have the equivalent of the most amazing cake (most recently Sarah's wedding cake). I also know how utterly amazing it is for the mind and the heart (I use spirit and heart interchangeably, depending on the day and mood :) too.

You add the mind's the equivalent of adding sprinkles.
You add the heart/'s the equivalent of adding ice cream.
Yes, it is good!

Why settle for a portion when you can have it all?

I'd love to share with you why I love and adore to practice yoga asana. I dedicate this time for self exploration, a time to practice self acceptance, and as a tool for self transformation.

Self Exploration - during any given practice I might notice:
*the current state of my body. Where do I feel tight and where do I feel? Can I use my breath to enliven, awaken parts of my body? How did I use my body yesterday or today and how might that affect what I'm feeling? Where am i directing my thoughts? Why do I want to come out of this particular pose? Is there a way I can let go of tension right now? Can I breathe more deeply? Where am I holding? What emotions am I experiencing? What am I having for dinner? Oh wait...

Self Acceptance - I really make a strong effort to let my practice be a time that I get to appreciate my body for all that it does and all that it allows me to be. Typically those thoughts of ,"Why can't I do more? Why is this so hard? I wish I could get my leg higher? can and do creep into practice. As soon as those thoughts creep in, I shoo em' on out. Why do I not stress or give myself a hard time about getting better? Because I think that life tells us this far too often...that we're not good enough. And it's really important to me that the time I spend on the yoga mat doesn't become another thing to suck at. The media already tells us we're not _______(insert word of your choice) enough. It doesn't serve me. Or you. Or you.

Self Transformation - Yeah that's a pretty big word, but I hold true to this being a big reason for my practice. To me transformation is a marked change. It's one for the better. It could be radical, it doesn't have to. And the thing is, I always finish a yoga practice feeling like a different person than when I started. And I've witnessed too many people coming into the studio feeling tired, confused, hurt, overwhelmed, etc. Andt they leave feeling like a different person. Somewhere in that 75 minutes a marked change has occurred. A transformation on some level.

It's so not just about the poses.
It's so not just about your body.
It's about your breath.
It's about your mind.
It's about your own wisdom.
It's about accessing a rich juicy place inside you that basks in joy.

Wishing you a rich and juicy sorta day.
And as always, would love to hear your thoughts.

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