I taught an awesome Yoga class today- not because of me, but definitely because of their energy, joy, and support of our practice and my guiding efforts.
They were as diverse a group as you can get; all ages, sizes, experience and gender!
It was a Power Yoga class, my favorite to both take and teach. I love how a good, hard power class can teach me to be still even in the most difficult and testing postures; I learn to be patient in holding on when I really just want to get out! The people in this class are building muscle & getting strong, many of them have been taking this class since I began and I have LOVED seeing their ebbs and flows of progress.
As we opened the practice, I encouraged them to do a body scan of their body. This is easy to do- close down your eyes and as you begin to pay attention to your breath, travel up your body from toes to forehead, concentrating on one body part with each inhale/exhale breath cycle. As you scan, just pay attention to anywhere in your body where you might be storing stress, guilt, tightness, anxiety! You’d be surprised, we hold a wad of emotional garbage in our bodies- this awareness allows you to send that (fillintheblank) out of your body with each exhale-
We then set an intention for our practice to replace all the emotional garbage we just emptied with creativity and adventure! “We are going to need this creativity and adventure later in the practice” I warned them!
(I was afraid I’d scare some people with that comment- but luckily they ALL stayed)
Because I had such a diverse group, I gave them variations on our poses depending on their abilities and experience. Though I gave them a wide range of options, I encouraged them to draw upon that “creativity and adventure” that we had brought into our minds and now bring it to the mat.
I was SO excited as I saw most people at least attempt an arm balance or a bind or any variety of NEWNESS to their practice.
This philosophy doesn’t just exist on the yoga mat however. I have a FAV instructor at the gym and she reminds us often to add more weight if we are comfortable or mix up our workout routines. There is NO growth in comfortable and NO excitement in complacency.
I love this web talk by David Eagleman about How to Slow Down Time! It is worth the ten minutes it will take you to watch it. I love that the simple and VERY conscious act of switching up our routines can add enough impact to our lives that time literally slows down!
I am taking a Time Management class for school and we have been discussing just how many decisions we make on a daily basis that we DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT! These are BIG decisions, some with BIG consequences! Have you ever been driving down the road and all of a sudden realize you’re on the way to the wrong place? Or wondered how you got to where you are? Life is RACING before us because we live on autopilot more than we live in the moment.
It doesn’t take long to complete a body scan– it’s just a few moments of concentrated attention to your body with an equally concentrated intention to release those feelings that are not serving us well. Allow yourself a few moments to clear your mind and find stillness in your body. With each deep inhale, concentrate on relaxing– noticing where you find ease and space in your body. With each exhale, concentrate on releasing discomforts and dis-ease! You’ll be amazed at how much control you truly have over healing and helping your own body find healing.
Encourage the ease, release the tension and than go forward with your day with an eye to Newness, and eye to Adventure, and an eye to Enjoying the very moment you are in RIGHT NOW!
Where you are going WILL happen! What you need to do WILL get done! The difference you’re going to make is that you are going to ENJOY the JOURNEY-
I’m telling you, this is a GREAT JOURNEY of life we are on,
it just takes a little balance to see it-
Do something, ANYTHING, different today! Maybe take a different road home, maybe eat dessert first (my personal favorite way to shake things up a bit). Concentrate on making your moments matter!