Wednesday, July 6, 2011

vinyasa experience

Perhaps you read in my previous post that I started yet another $30 for 30 days yoga class pass at a studio near where I work at day camp. Great space, great teachers, small community, absolutely perfect. After work, I made my way to the 90 minute vinyasa class, unrolled my mat, changed out of my Patagonia hiking shorts, nasty tennis shoes and staff shirt and settled in to my time.

Vinyasa is a sanskrit term meaning "to flow." My first experience with vinyasa yoga was back in college at a small studio called "The Yoga Room." That is where I met my first teacher/guru/lifesaver, Miya Must. A wonderful woman who left the planet way too early. I got hooked on vinyasa because of how the movements match the breath, or at least they are supposed to. Vinyasa pushes me to my edge-a term used in yoga to signify that place where you feel like giving up, the body is pushed to limits without severe pain, and that place where you want to run the other way.

My new teacher, Yoon, is gentle yet strong. A nice blend of pushing when needed and backing off when necessary. He uses a great phrase during class: "Spend some time." He says this in postures requiring greater flexibility (i.e. Camel pose or upward bow pose) as well as restorative postures (i.e. bridge pose & supported savasana). I have really taken this phrase to heart these past couple days. "Spend some time," has come up a lot in my interactions with my colleagues, with kids, with making dinner and time with my partner. On my yoga mat, I am spending time working on me through the experience.

Self-discovery is a huge facet of yoga yet yoga is just as much about the rest of the world as it is about oneself. What we find on the mat that makes us uncomfortable can be literally transposed to what makes us uncomfortable in our real life. That is one of my most favorite things about yoga yet it is the thing I hate the most. Sometimes I come home stiff & sore and I recognize that I have neglected my practice. I then go into an inquiry: Why have I let go of my practice? What is getting in the way? What is preventing me from unrolling my mat? Other days, I leave on a high. I also perform an inquiry: This feels good. Why does it feel good? Is it because I took time for myself in the midst of a crazy busy day? Is it because the poses released some tense energy?

The experience of yoga is my experience of life and my experience of life is my experience of yoga. In my early days of practicing yoga, I used to think I had my real life and my yoga life, similar to how we view our work life and our personal life. It's all interconnected, whether we want it to interconnect or not. How we live is how we work. How we practice is how we show up for the rest of life and the people close to us. When we harm ourselves through being overstressed, overworked, or on edge, we harm others.

I am grateful for the lessons yoga provides me. They are constant teachers constantly available. This is what I want to connect with more and more.

No comments: