In Yoga, we try to tread the contented road between pushing ourselves to build strength or flexibility and gentleness. We might ask ourselves “How do I know whether i’m being kind to myself or just a bit lazy?”. If we are looking for an answer, it might help to think of it this way; that ultimately our bodies love to move and they are built for it. knowing that, it can be surprising when we encounter so much resistance ( both physically and emotionally ) to our efforts to move our bodies.
We know that resistance mostly comes from the way we think about things. The judging mind has a lot to say about what we do in life, particularly concerning anything we do with our body. Of course, some days our bodies tell us to take it easy – We might be fatigued, in pain; but most of the time we resist moving our bodies because we send and receive critical messages in our mind as soon as we begin to consider anything to do with our physical self. Some of these critical voices come from others, the media, but a lot of the time it is from us. Spending so much time listening to this critical voice can be damaging and so it can take time to come back around to tuning in.
We can think about it in a different way; If a child chose not to do something because they were afraid of the criticism they would hear if they tried, what do you think would best help them to overcome that fear? More criticism? Or kindness? It is kindness that we need to listen to.
We also know that, because of our suburban, often sedentary lives, quite often what we need is for our body to move. Understanding this means that kindness is not leaving our yoga practice for tomorrow, it means finding time and space for you to practice now, a space in which the judging mind is welcome but is not ruling. We can accept that we cannot silence the critical voice, but we can at least choose, for a time, to hold it lightly and instead connect with our true voice, the voice of our wisdom self.
The greatest news of all, of course is that the more yoga we practice the more able we become in tuning in to hear the true voice of our body.
We have established that our bodies are amazing machines that are designed to move. Unfortunately our lifestyle and the way we move can often distort our bodies. The body also holds emotions in tense muscles. By opening and releasing muscular tension, old stuck emotions can be shifted, leaving you feeling lighter and more free, emotionally as well as physically.
This term, we have been breaking down the base of the postures, the feet pelvis and how to stabilise through correct placement and technique. Once the base of the posture is established, we can safely start to open the hip flexors using the core muscles without over working the gluteus or lumbar, avoiding any pinchy pain in the lower back. Only when these 2 actions are applied can we safely start to open and strengthen the back muscles which will help us get into the more challenging backbends.
Dates for your diaries: There will be no class next Monday 22 May as i have a training day and no class the following Monday 29 May ( bank holiday ). I apologise for the repeated interruption to the Monday Vinyasa class – due to all the bank holidays and my training day which i couldn’t move unfortunately. This class will run uninterrupted from Monday 05 June – Monday 31 July Please feel free to join the Vinyasa class on Tuesday evening 8:00 – 9:15 pm during those 2 weeks.
I wish you well in your yoga adventures wherever you are in the world right now.
Namaste & love