Okay, okay, I lied – I do feel inspired this week.
Why am I inspired?
I am inspired because yesterday I took the day off from work due to my IBS stomach (ugh) and I went to an amazing yoga class that helped me feel better. My favorite yoga classes are always classes from teachers who share meaningful insight, mantras, or stories. It helps when the things they share take my mind off of an uncomfortable pose, too.
Lessons learned from my yoga teacher
1. Feeling is more important than seeing.
Close your eyes. How does your body feel? Where does your mind begin to wander? Don’t worry about how your body looks; focus on how it feels. Do this in yoga class, but do it in real life too.
- Are you full? You don’t know? Close your eyes – Maybe you need more to be satisfied but maybe you can push the plate away now.
- Bored or stressed at work? Close your eyes (let’s hope you have a cube – I can’t do this at work). What do you need to do to move past it? Are you really bored or are you avoiding something?
- Are you mad? Take a moment and close your eyes. Is what you are mad about really that important? Is it worth what you are feeling? If yes, then by all means stand behind your opinion. If not though, maybe let it go and move on.
2. Tree pose progression.
- In pose, staring at something in front of you… –>
- In pose, staring upwards… –>
- In pose, closing your eyes.
- The last one is obviously the hardest. Because you are looking inward and feeling; you don’t have sight to help you balance. Feel your belly button and try to be balanced. My old teacher in California had a good mantra to use to stay focused and balanced while in tree pose – it was just to repeat silently, “asana, asana, asana, …” (asana = pose) to keep your mind present. Tree pose is a pose where the mind tends to wander.
3. I finally did side crow! (Just had to stick that one in there.)
(My legs weren’t quite that straight.)
I don’t think I have ever tried side crow before; I’m not a big fan of crow pose in general. I do headstands and almost-away-from-the-wall-handstands, but crow makes me uncomfortable.* However, yoga is about trying new things, so I tried side crow, and I thought it was great. It was challenging but fun.
*Note: fish pose is another pose I absolutely despise.
The hardest poses are usually the poses in which it is easiest to stay mindful – you have to focux on the pose, otherwise you will fall! I don’t feel the same sense of mindfulness when I plop into triangle (I guess I shouldn’t “plop” into any pose though).