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Photo credit Samantha Eve Yoga and C. Costanzo.
Since returning to my yoga practice, I have been fortunate to find teachers trained in a variety of styles. Experiencing such abundance of teachings has truly helped improve the quality of my practice.
A few nights ago, I took a class with a teacher in the Yin Yang yoga tradition. According to my teacher, this Yin Yang is a practice designed to work with your connective tissue and increase flexibility and overall health. It is a reflective practice as you hold the poses for several minutes at a time. My teacher read passages from a book which she felt were appropriate for our practice. And although I appreciated her readings, I found that my mind wandered a bit as I held each pose. Halfway through the practice, I realized that part of me was very present with our class - breathing, moving, listening - and part of me had calmly crept away to a place of rest. it was peaceful...but how did that happen?
In the beginning of the class, my thoughts were consumed with lists of what needed to be done in preparation of my move:
At first I tried to fight these thoughts. Damn it, I was at yoga, right? I would be zen-like or die trying! But then I gave up on the fight. I felt weary, and this was a battle that seemed to be consuming energy for no good purpose.
So I allowed the various lists to flit through my head. List 1 came through...breathe in, breathe out....List 2 barged in...breathe in, breathe out...List 3 nudged list 2 out of the way....breathe...breathe..breathe...Somewhere in the background my teacher was talking to us, reading passages from her book of choice, cuing us to transition from one pose to the next...and I followed along even while allowing the thoughts to crowd into my brain...
And then suddenly it was quiet in my head. I can't quite remember what pose we were in, only that the only sound in my head was the subtle sound of my own breath. I felt refreshed...
In Yin Yang yoga, we hold the positions to help us learn how to release and relax into the pose. By acknowledging our tendency to tense up when dealing with something uncomfortable, we can face, and let go of, our fear of going further than we have gone before.
But a yoga practice is so much more than the physical poses. By holding onto those loud noisy thoughts, practically inviting the clutter into my mind that evening, I was able to acknowledge them, assess them, realize I could handle them, and then release them. And all that was left was peace and joy...
Do you have a yoga practice that you found inspiring? I would love to hear your story! May we all enjoy our practice...with smiles...
About the blogger
Hi! I'm Samantha Eve aka Tink - a kick-a$$ girl boss, party-til-dawn, warrior princess of a yogi, vegan, free-spirit, dancer, model, teacher, coach who - whether rocking a power suit or lingerie, lives life to the fullest.