In 2010, after years of flipping back and forth, I started a regular yoga practice. At the time, I was very into running and fitness, so I gravitated towards the fad of hot yoga. I think my thoughts were that, it's okay for me to be doing something as slow as yoga as long as it's powerful, I'm pushing myself and it's hot as crap. I was still at a point where I felt like, I must be pushing myself to the limits every day, otherwise, I'm not worthy in some way. It sounds weird saying it, but how many Type A personalities feel like if they're not competing in every aspect of their lives, they somehow aren't living up to the expectations that they put on themselves? I don't think it was just me.
Fast forward to today and find that I'm happy just walk/running and doing yoga and one can see what I call growth (although if you're still caught in that Type A trap, you may not agree). I don't say that in a condescending way, I just mean that some people my have a different perception of what I'm about to discuss.
In these classes, I got a lot of benefits just like you do in any yoga class. I was able to focus my mind, stretch my body, etc. I took the approach that I need to do every pose offered and that I ALWAYS needed to be pushing for that next pose. I think the reason that became a challenge was because I was not listening to my body and I sometimes sacrificed building a foundation in order to reach a certain pose. Throughout my extensive workout career where I've tried pretty much everything, the thing I've discovered most is that having the foundation is very important in preventing injury. I started thinking about that idea this morning and realizing that I not only followed that pattern in working out, but also in everything else. I've always had a desire to reach a certain goal or destination without first putting in the work to get there. I want to have the end result and skip the process that goes along with it. With work, there were times when I was frustrated that I hadn't been able to push my career along to the next step, but I wasn't making the appropriates call to get there. I felt frustrated by the fact that I did the first step and failed. I wanted to be perfect from the very beginning.
As I've continued on my yogic path, I am now finding solace in not being perfect in a class. I am enjoying coming to the mat and acting as though this is something I've never done before. Over the weekend, I tried to listen to every direction that Liz gave. I loved the simplicity of the class, the focus on the breath, the movement and the foundation. It inspired me to make some changes in my own teaching because it's so easy, even now, for me to want to challenge my students in a physical way. In my mind, I think, I want to give them the opportunity to learn the next step and to push themselves but maybe what I want to challenge them to do is to push their minds and push their breath work. I want to make sure that they're building a strong foundation because in the perfection of the simplicity is where we can start to try different things.
My intention for the week is to teach in that specific way - my class is going to focused on the breath, simple poses, and meditation during movement. I'm excited to see how that goes! If you're in the area, I'd love for you to come and give me feedback. I'm teaching at 6 am at Yoganize on 2105 Old Spartanburg Rd, Greer, SC.
Hope to see you there.