I went to a yoga class yesterday. It had been a long time, far too long, since I last made it to someone else's class. While I teach 2 to 3 times a week, the truth is that it's been hard to maintain my own practice. In Vancouver I was able to practice at one of the local studios at least once a week and it felt amazing. To immerse myself in being a student once again was just what I needed.
When I first came to yoga it was at the end of 10 years of competitive gymnastics. I fell in love straight away. It was the opposite of being a gymnast. For the first time I found myself impressed with my body rather than constantly frustrated at its limitations. I was never fit, strong or flexible enough to be a great gymnast and I felt it keenly. At yoga none of that mattered. No one was going to force me into the splits (by sitting on top of me); wherever I was, that was good enough.
It's exactly what I try to teach my students. Yes, we challenge ourselves but we do so with gratitude and respect for our bodies. Not everyone can do the splits, and that's ok. In fact, as my physical practice has
Last night, As our teacher guided us through a series of yin poses, a devoted student played the harmonium at the front of the room. We held each pose for 2 to 5 minutes, and as we did, I felt my breath deepen, my body soften and my mind relax. I left happy and calm.
If you have any questions about yoga, I'm happy to answer them (or find the answers for you) in the comments section.
p.s. yoga at home: some tips, the yoga of closet cleaning, some thoughts on teaching yoga