Let go. Grow and flow. Learn to listen to your body, listen to your breath. Honor your body, honor the breath.
When I first started practicing yoga, I was 21. First was with a Prenatal yoga video, and next was a yoga class at a community college. My yoga teacher indroduced many new ideas and experiences. Sometimes, I thought she was a new age wingnut (like when she first taught us Lion’s Breath), other times, I saw her wisdom and strength. She is a powerful healer. When I first came to her class, I was very much operating with my ego. I disregarded her almost constant reminder “focus on your breath“. At that point, I didn’t even breathe through my nose at that time ( I was a mouth breather), so the idea of taking conscious breaths through my nose, seemed impossible. And really kind of stupid. I knew what I wanted– I wanted to do the splits! Seriously. I wanted to stretch far!!!!! I treated yoga much like a dance class, my ego was very involved. I remember once my yoga teacher told me I was flexible..My ego instantly was swollen with pride, and with a smile, I pushed myself a little deeper–ooo I felt so good. I thought I was good at yoga. Turn’s out, I was good at stretching.
Yoga begins, when we connect body, mind and spirit. Present with our breath, the breath helps us energize and heal.The ‘mind chatter” ceases, and we are connected and in it! Present with the poses (asanas), we feel the lines and currents of energy. It is magical. It is sacred.
If you practice yoga, you know exactly what I am talking about. You are in a pose, connected in every way, and it is bliss.
Over the years, As my practice has evolved, I have learned the importance of breath (pranayama) on the physical, mental, and spiritual bodies..
With Asana practice, I like to practice with my eyes closed. It is soothing and powerful. I have learned to really feel my body. If my body is fatigued from too many chaturungas, I won’t do them. If I need to spend half of class in child’s pose, or savasana, I honor that. If I am holding an asana, and my body craves a little movement, pulsing, swaying, or grooving, I honor that too. Sometimes we need to strengthen, sometimes we need to stretch, sometimes we need to restore.
The moment you are really struggling in a pose, you are no longer practicing yoga. So focus on the breath, take time to let the pose evolve. Slowly and naturally, the body moves deeper. Deeper into the pose, deeper into the breath, and deeper into the sacredness of the moment.
There are moments where we are so connected and hyper-sensitive, that our Kundalini begins to awaken and rise, and we connect to truth, wisdom, and a blissful awareness. Our energetic bodies shine bright.
There are other times in our practice where we are overcome with emotion, and crying in class, having an emotional release, and unsure why. Crying is good. Release and move energy.
Let go and trust the process. It is life changing.
I have been teaching yoga for several years now, several classes a week. I love seeing my students evolve…. We are evolving together. We are always evolving. Everything connects. Slowly we learn to let go of the ego, we start to heal, grow and flow.
My advice: Don’t be rigid with your practice. Let go of any expectations. Let your practice evolve. Be open, flexible, connected.
Breathe. Listen and feel. Connect. It will change your practice and your life.