One of the great joys I have been experiencing is the unique and steady evolution of my own personal yoga practice.
I was having difficulty getting motivated to do yoga on my own; I kept signing up for classes at several studios so that I could have a teacher and community atmosphere to inspire me. While I still think it is important for budding teachers like myself to continue to go to various studious and classes, there is indeed something very precious and sacred about your home/personal practice.
Over the last few weeks, I have been having some real breakthroughs when practicing my pranayama, meditation and asanas at home. I typically had just been running through my class sequences I was planning to teach to make sure the timing and transitions were on point. But the last 3 evenings I have been doing a free form session…no music, nothing planned or typed out in a spreadsheet beforehand. Just an amazing conversation with my body about what it needed. This has been a very intuitive and thoughtful kind of yoga for me…I find myself accessing the library of poses in my mind and “dialing up” different poses…and a very logical flow of asanas and breathing unfolds.
To some extent, I do like to “shuffle the deck” and pull up some poses that I haven’t done in a long time…or forgot about. Or, I will experiment a bit with counter poses…I had some back tension tonight, so I experimented with a series of back poses and their counter poses: Camel, Plow, back platform, etc. I also focused deeply on big, cleansing breaths in each asana, taking care to really listen to my body and take note of each subtle adjustment that goes on every few seconds. It was satisfying to see a true progression: at the start of my practice my hamstrings were tight and my back was stiff. An hour flew by (time flies in such a different way then whem I’m on a machine at the gym!) and at the end of my session my back felt delicious and I was folded over so flat in a seated forward fold that I my face was planted between my kneecaps. 🙂
I know that life’s ebbs and flows could mean that my yoga practice will come and go in its depth, but I don’t want it to be the “dear friend I see occasionally”. We should be together as much as possible!
I’ve got three classes I’m teaching over the coming weeks. This week I’ll be at Omelet again, then teaching a class downtown at a wonderful art gallery space (they have a 200 year old Tibetan singing bowl I can play during Savasana!) and then a workshop for the students at FIDM.
I feel so much joy in this personal practice, and feel I am so much more in tune with the magic these asanas can do for the body. I hope I can make it as magical as possible for all who attend!