my yoga


yesterday i took a class on yoga glo.  i love my own practice, and going with the flow of my body, but sometimes it's really nice to be guided and just follow someone else's instructions.  yoga glo classes also inspire me in my teaching :).  

i decided to take a class by dice iida-klein.  dice is an amazing and funny teacher, and incredible at arm balances.  i tried one of his classes in the past and felt like it was too challenging for my level, so eh i felt a little intimidated to try again.  i wanted to work on grasshopper, so i thought i'd give another one of his classes a whirl.  i finished the class kind of frustrated and a little judgmental of my practice; but afterwards, in my aggravation, i ended up rediscovering for the millionth time what my practice means to me.

so, i think we've all been there.  there's a person in the front of the class that appears to have perfected every pose, and it's a little distracting cause you want to watch!  in this particular class on the glo there's a girl in the front who is, excuse my language, fucking fantastic at yoga.  she is beyond flexible, enters every sun salutation with a handstand, and appears to not really give shit what everyone else is doing.  she's modifying every pose to the most challenging degree and not even with the sequencing of the rest of the class.  i find myself straining my neck to watch her, looking to see if there is weakness at all in her asanas.  nope, nothing.  oh yeah, and she's now stripped down to a sports bra and has a beautiful body.  hheergggghh.  why this bothers me of course is my own deep rooted insecurities.

while taking the class, i kept repeating to myself "don't compare yourself", but i still did.  usually when i finish a yoga session i feel really good about myself and my body, no matter what i accomplished in that particular practice.  but not this time.  i felt frustrated- why is my progress so slow? why won't my back bend deeper?  will i ever be able to do a handstand not against the wall??  i didn't notice at the time, but there was one shining moment in the class that sparked an awakening in me.

it was when the entire class was practicing arm balances and trying to flow from one balance to another that i let out a small laugh. i can't do this stuff yet, so i did a headstand.  i looked around when i came down in child's pose and it looked like a try out for cirque de soleil, or some kind of contortionist contest.  i'm not judging anyone else's practice, and god knows i would love to be able to do more arm balances if/when it happens for me someday.  but this is not why i practice yoga.  i don't want to enter the circus, and there's no one i am trying to impress with my yoga moves.  of course it is satisfying to watch yourself progress and master beautiful postures, but this is more the effect, when the emphasis should be on the journey, your cause.  i also have so much going on in my life with my business and other interests, that i'm not sure i'll ever be an "advanced yogi", at least in asana.

when patrick got home from work i expressed to him my thoughts on the class i took that evening.  as i spoke to him and complained a bit, i felt my heart gently melting and softening.  i vented it out and realized it's not that girl at the front of the class that bothers me, it's how i define my practice at times.  that moment of clarity when i laughed to myself is how i need to always approach my yoga- with a sense of humor and a constant focus of why i come onto my mat.  

i come to my mat to feel good.  plain and simple.  when i have much on my mind and need to slow down and breathe, i practice yoga.  when my body feels tight and tender and tired, i practice yoga.  when i need to take a step back from my life, i practice yoga!!

there's this debate going on, if anyone can "own" yoga.  yes we each own our own yoga.  my yoga is for my peace.

what's your yoga for?      
  

2 comments:

  1. My yoga is for thought slowing. For me time. For to worry about nothing else other than breathing.

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  2. I just posted my answer to this question on the purusha facebook page. But I'd like to say it again! I practice because it makes me a more thoughtful, kinder, gentler person off the mat. I make better choices after I take a class. Regarding my health, relationships, and basically everything else! It pretty much keeps me sane, like running does (but cant always run!) It is my meditation.

    Keep on writing. It's great to hear your perspective on things :)

    And by the way, when I've watched you do yoga, or seen it in pictures, I think of you similarly to how you thought of the yogi in the front of the yogaglo class. I'm impressed and sometimes even jealous. But then I can turn the jealousy feelings into inspiration and motivation! You kick ass sistah !

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