Asana practice is an opportunity to look at obstacles in practice and life and discover how we can cope with them. We become stronger and more capable through the practice. Not just physically but mentally. Most of the timeWhenever I feel discomfort in a posture, I zone in and direct my breath towards that area.
I don’t think “Ahhh, I’ve got to hold this for ten. Come on! Hurry up!”
I concentrate on the one inhale and exhale I need to get to the next. I take it one breath at a time. You’ll be surprised how long you can hold a posture for when you approach it from this perspective.
What is the quality of my breath?
Am I trying to catch up to it? Am I ahead of it? Is it rhythmic and spacious?
I’ve noticed a big shift recently in my own practice with regards to the breath. Its gone deeper within. I try to create stillness and focus on steady breathing rather than let the breath meander off on its own. Of course it doesn’t always work like this. This is why we practice.
Each time we step into the mat we are given one more opportunity to travel from the outer sheaths of our being inwards and towards our center, our core. The 8 limbs of yoga are constantly shifting and evolving as we practice each one.
The breath empowers us and allows us to use less effort to move into, hold, and move out of postures. Most injuries occur not when moving into postures but instead when moving out of postures. Usually without control or not enough. The breath should initiate the movement. The physical body should follow the breath and not the other way around.
Yoga is working within and on the edge of your comfort zone. Extending and expanding a little bit each and every day. Making sure to use our breath as a guide as to how far to take our practice today.
Over time as we empty our minds during class and let it all go for a while exploring our mats, the practice can truly become a moving meditation.
The post-yoga feeling leaves us with a renewed sense of being and a stillness that is so refreshing, as if we’ve cleared the cache.
Let me know if that makes sense but I feel it does. Ever find your phone or computer running out of space?
Recycle the unnecessary and the temporary.
What do you find yourself thinking about during your practice or during a class?