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Another great yoga moment.

March 29, 2012

I went to a yoga class a couple days ago.  I was having what I call a “low energy day.”  That’s a day when I can tell from the beginning that I just won’t have the “oomph” to perform at a very high level.  The class I went to tends to be a more challenging one for me, but the teacher creates such a great space for practice at all levels that I always feel safe and comfortable.  She repeats, “let the yoga come to you,” and has reassured both me and my husband that it is perfectly ok to rest when we need to or modify the practice in whatever way that allows us to participate.  My teacher’s name is Lisa Feder.  See her personal website here.  I practice with her at Yoga Yoga in Austin, Texas.

At the end of this class, Lisa read a quote about moving beyond struggle.  Simply paraphrased, we can move beyond a place of struggling with our practice to a place of accepting it just as it is in that moment.  I can’t remember who said it, but the idea resonated for me.  This made me think of my life with the limitations I am learning to deal with.  I can struggle with them or I can accept my being just as it is in each moment and do what I can with it.  When I said this to Lisa, she speculated about the possibilities if everybody did that all the time.  What would the world be like?

I was pondering these ideas and received an email about a yoga teacher I had met before at a conference, Abby Lentz.  I have not studied with her, but conversing with her a few years ago, I thought I’d like to sometime.  She teaches HeavyWeight yoga, her version of a hatha style adapted for heavier people.  Her slogan is “Yoga for the body you have today.”  It’s the same type of welcoming attitude that makes me feel so at home in Lisa’s classes.

Along the same lines, I found a great article on the Himalayan Institute website, Making Friends with your Body.  Author Linda Sparrowe makes many of the same points as these two teachers.  In her article she emphasizes the importance of embracing the spiritual aspects of yoga practice, not just doing the asanas (poses) by themselves for exercise.

We all have concerns about our bodies and how others see them.  It may be how we look or how we are able to perform compared to others.  My yoga teachers encourage practicing with eyes closed or looking at ourselves and not comparing to others.  Lisa always reminds us that everyone’s practice is different.  One day she had us twist our arms around backward and said not to get down on yourself if you can’t do it and don’t have a party if you can.  Just notice how it feels and accept it.  This is something we could all stand to do all the time.

 

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 15, 2012 10:15 am

    I really want to get back to a regular yoga routine. I feel inspired 🙂 Thank you!

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