Why do you practice Yoga? Exploring this theme in my own practice in the wake of so many natural disasters, I find that consistency brings hope and clarity in times of uncertainty. My Yoga looks more restorative and less structured than ever before as I explore movement with ease.
How can we approach practice with renewed love, joy and curiosity? How curious can we be about the sensation beyond the surface of the skin, however subtle, so that we can begin to reject any numbing or avoidance of sensations and embrace ourselves with tenderness?
Sometimes we just have to move, breath and not think about it. The practice becomes a meditation. The breath moves the body as if it were a symphony of individual notes to compose our body’s most beautiful work, however messy or imperfect it feels or looks on the outside. That’s when pose itself is not the focus, but simply being courageous enough to be still within the spaces of the movement or move slow enough to feel more fully.
The gift of Yoga is sensitivity to our bodies, and ultimately, sensitivity to life. When we tap into that, we can become of service to ourselves first, others second. And, have more to give.
As you explore movement this week, consider these things:
Whatever you’re dong, notice the breath. Is it shallow, deep, full or feather light? Every time you bring your attention to your breath, take 5 more with the focus of moving your ribs in a full, round way. Feel the front, side, back and in-between the ribs as your breath folds and unfolds. Do this at least 3-5 times in one day for different activities and notice if you feel more or less energy and concentration.
Move without expectations. Can you find an activity that you can do without the aim of perfection or performance?
Reflect on whether your journey can be more of a playful exploration rather than a technique driven exercise. Alignment is important but not at the expense of pleasurable, exploratory movement that just makes you feel good. Litmus test: Do I feel safe in this pose? And, how will I feel a few days after?
May this Yoga journey we’re on draw a wider circle of it’s meaning. It is life, movement, grief, joy, love and suffering and being with it all. We can take steps to inner growth and calm– together.
Article Photo Credit: Tyrfingur Tyrfingsson