Monday, October 26, 2015

The Yoga Experiment

my home yoga studio
I've been on a mission to bring Asana back into my life lately. Because this is how things frequently go in the version of reality I frequent, the very week in which I hoped to realize this goal turned into the craziest week ever, in which getting home by 9 without having eaten dinner yet was considered a triumph. So, no asana happened that week. Now, you may be thinking, 'but you're a yoga teacher! But this is (sometimes) a yoga blog! How could asana have slipped out of your life?? Because I'm a really busy human, and specifically, I'm very busy moving. I train on silks and sometimes aerial hammock five days a week, doubles trapeze once a week, and take a ballet class about once a week as well. I also do physical therapy exercises for my shoulders, arm, shoulder, and core conditioning moves on my pull-up bar, and stretching routines for my shoulders, hips, legs, and spine pretty close to daily. Yoga classes felt not challenging enough, and not stretchy enough, to be worth the investment in time, especially once I cut back on my volunteering schedule, which meant I just wasn't hanging around the studio as much.

Moving with intention is great, but the longer I go without a good old fashioned vinyasa yoga class on my weekly schedule, the more I suspect there's something to those specific shapes and movements...I don't know what it is. But I think its something.

I'm looking forward to having a new perspective on the asana practice. I haven't taught a regularly scheduled floor yoga class in over a year now, and I don't have any plans to do so in the near future, so I won't be taking notes of interesting transitions, helpful verbal adjustments, or effective sequencing. I'll just be a student, doing my practice, after a significant absence. Like so many other yoga students.

Stepping away from the practice was initially just a product of changing my routine, but then it because an experiment. What does yoga do for me? Will I miss it? Do I need it if I'm still meditating? Is it harder to still meditate without that practice? Yes, yes, and yes. At least, I think so. The experiment won't be complete until I come back to the practice for a while and evaluate what shifts.

In its own weird way, my stepping away from the asana practice was part of my larger yoga practice. Yoga is the science of happiness, and you aren't expected to take anything on faith. Exploring what yoga brings to your life by stepping away from one or more components of it can be very much part of the journey. In fact, intended or not, it is for just about everybody who ever steps on a mat. Yep, even teachers. And now its my turn.

Live Omily,
~em

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