Happy Tuesday! Happy day after Memorial day! Housekeeping:
Subbing this Wednesday, June 1st, Brooklyn Heights Equinox. Vinyasa, 6pm. Please come!
Hello all! I have been away from blogging, its true. It was not deliberate I assure you! I was in the midst of a very significant transition in my life. I went from being Graduate-student-who-spends-every-waking-minute-either-at-work-or-in-the-library to being…free! I graduated! I feel very proud, excited, inspired and relieved. What a long road…two years of going to school both at night after work and in the summer, a highly curtailed social life, lack of sleep, multiple sentences of intellectual mumbo-jumbo tumbling out of my mouth at any given moment – was it worth it? Absolutely. Going to school and learning, being exposed to the vastness of ideas and incredibly rich intellectual material out there is one of the all time best things that has ever happened to me. I discovered more about myself in the past two years than I could have ever imagined was even there. Once we get to know ourselves, and embrace who we are (read: my inner nerd!), we begin to not only sense a completeness but also what power there may be in investigation and the thrill of opening the door to life’s challenges.
I transitioned in other ways as well. I was very fortunate for months to have been able to teach a highly dedicated and LOYAL group of yogis every Sunday morning at 9am since October. We made great use of the space, I knew everyone’s name, we had great chemistry for an early hour, on a Sunday no less. I was again fortunate to be offered a new teaching spot, which coincided seamlessly with my new status of being out of school. This new spot is Tuesday nights, at Equinox Columbus Circle, at 6:30pm. I am so excited. A good portion of my Sunday morning students have been able to switch and come on Tuesdays, so in a sense they are transitioning as well. Anyone who is working through their schedule, we miss you and please know that the door is always open. Come when you can:)
How does this idea of transition play itself out while we are practicing yoga? In the most immediate sense, once we step onto our mat and begin to become present in the yoga studio, we have transitioned. Maybe we have had a rough day and we are in class to go to a quieter space in our minds, in our hearts, in our bodies and our muscular system. Maybe we have had a great day and we use our yoga practice to celebrate and help us transform even further into beings of light, energy, warmth and love. Or maybe we are that person who is not even aware of how we feel until class is over and we feel so much better…no matter. All that matters is that by the end of class it is clear we have shifted. We are relaxed, we slow down, we breathe easier, we think more clearly, and what might have seemed insurmountable now seems entirely under our control. That, my friends, is not magic. It is yoga! It is what happens when you allow your breath to slow, your movements to deepen, your awareness to be directed towards the present moment, your intentions to be based on what is happening at that very second, not what you wish would happen or what you think you should be doing.
Allowing ourselves to be open to the moment, as expressed through our bodies, requires us to be vulnerable. In order to be vulnerable, we have to relinquish control. We may not know exactly what is going to happen, or how a pose might feel, or if we will be able to hold it for so long, or if we even know how to do it. We commit ourselves to doing the work it takes to go deeper, maybe through conscious self exploration. We might decide to become more mindful of our thoughts, our reactions to things, our process, our judgements, our critical inner voice. Picture yourself now stepping into the yoga studio, onto your mat, ready for your practice to enable some form of transition within you. Doesn’t that sound exhilarating? True, maybe terrifying as well. No one said it was easy! It is without a doubt a tremendous opportunity just waiting there for you.
Breathe, movement, conscious awareness and a penchant towards transformation is all you need. Yoga is that gift. Life is that gift really. And it is summer! The perfect time to transform. So… lets celebrate the potential that is there and enjoy as we unfold.
Tune in next week for my posting about hip opening poses and the kinesiology behind certain vinyasa sequences. oohhh, ahhhh! Until then, have a wonderful week and see you in class!
“It is the truth we ourselves speak rather than the treatment we receive that heals us.” (O. Hobart Mowrer, 1966).
“Things do not change. We change.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden