When I first attended a yoga class, I felt a bit intimidated by all those exotically sounding names of poses in Sanskrit, but despite that, endorphins were filling me up and I just knew I was coming to the next class for sure!
After a while, I realized that my yoga classes are so much more than just an hour of exercise and relaxation… the journey was just about to begin. 🙂
It was a yoga class where I heard probably for the first time in my life words like these:
What’s past is in the past, what’s future is in the future – and you are here and now, so why don’t you just relax your muscles around your eyes and in between your eyebrows, in your chest and lower back, arms and legs, giving away all your weight to the ground to support you.
I think in those days I didn’t know I had muscles in between my eyebrows, seriously. :)))
I started to pay more attention to my body – and after a while, by developing this awareness, I was able to consciously scan through my body and relax its parts when I wanted to. It felt and still feels so good!
Another amazing quote I remember from those times:
It’s important to fully respect your limitations. For example, if you want to deepen the posture, don’t rush into it, because you can hurt yourself. Be kind and mindful: even the tiniest change, a few millimeters that can’t be noticed by someone looking at you – it’s still a change, it’s progress. It’s important that YOU can note it, feel it.
It felt so soothing, when I heard those words! Suddenly, an almost magic-like feeling of connection run through my body – it was my mind, that stopped treating the body like it needs to achieve something, and started a partnership with it, a body-mind union. The mind is there with it’s awareness, the body is there with it’s physical presence and feelings. They’re friends, respecting each other and dealing with what is, not expecting, or even worse, forcing anything, but always supporting each other.
The tricky part is – once you discover this deep body-mind connection in yourself – to remember about it and stick to it. I found it so easy to go to a fancy yoga class and get lost in aiming to look better in the postures, go deeper, faster etc. The whole inner experience was there or not, depending on how much I allowed myself to get distracted. Later on, I’ve also learned that this changeability is absolutely natural, too.
Well, we’re all humans, we like fancy and there’s nothing wrong about it, only if you want something more out of your yoga practice, i.e. to establish your new, deeper attitude, you need TIME. So be generous in giving yourself plenty of it!
I started practicing yoga in 2010, but it was the Teacher Training Course in 2016 that has shaped my understanding of yoga and helped me to develop grounding, nourishing base of my everyday practice.
It’s said that it takes about 4 weeks to establish a new habit. The Training took 3 weeks, but it seemed enough time to learn, day by day, how to listen to the body, how to root yourself in profoundly beneficial practice. How to truly connect to who you are, and not who you expect yourself to be. I found it deeply freeing, rewarding and expressing full respect towards yourself – only then I was able to truly listen to my inner voice, intuition, whatever you name it.
I do believe that we may speak different languages and come from different traditions, but the common wisdom, wisdom of the body, of what’s good for us – is within ALL OF US! The only thing we need to do, is to quiet the noise of dos and don’ts that we internalize so easily, and hear it out.
So… relax your muscles from the top of head to the toes… and do yoga, for whatever reason, including no reason at all, out of sheer speck of spontaneity . 😉