Monday, August 6, 2012

Living Your Best Life

The style of yoga I teach, power yoga, is vinyasa - its a flow.

Especially in the beginning of class, when I guide students through Sun Salutations.  It can be pretty vigorous - they're meant to warm up your body, get your heart rate up & get you sweating.

Sometimes students will chuckle when I remind them, during this challenging series, to take their time & move at their own pace.  Students have even commented "how can you say that when you're telling us what to do?"

Some styles of yoga, and some teachers, demand that students do exactly as their told.  That the whole class move & breathe together & that everyone look the same in each pose.

That's not me.  It's not what I've learned & it's not what I teach.

Sure, it may seem contradictory that I'm telling you when to breathe & how to move....and then telling you to do your own thing.  Here's how it works for me...

When I teach, I'm a guide.  I'll teach a challenging class - you'll move, you'll sweat, you'll get a workout.  That's what I'm teaching.  But your practice isn't about me - it's about you.  So if you want to slow down...slow down.  If you want to take it up a notch...take it up a notch.  Its your practice - its about you.

As you move & breathe, you find your own flow.  You don't have to keep up with anyone.

The biggest thing about this, for me, is that it's a metaphor for life. 

You get on your mat & you rush & you push to keep up & you struggle & it's not your best practice & you don't feel good.

You move through your life & everyone around you is moving fast - you gotta keep up...get that job, buy that house, buy that gotta keep up.  You keep up & you push & you struggle & it's not your best life & you don't feel good.

It's simple. 

Your mat is a mirror for your life.

If you can slow down or stop when it feels right, no matter what's going on in class around you, no matter what I'm saying.  I respect that.  You're listening.  You're listening to your body & your heart & spirit & those are your best guides.  Yes, even better than me (or any teacher).

If you feel like you need to keep up in class.  If you feel like you need to keep up in life...ask yourself why.

If you can slow down & move through your life, listening to your heart & doing what feels right for you,  others will respect that.  Your life may look very different from the lives of those around you.  People may look at you a little funny when you tell them about it.  But when you talk about it with enthusiasm & exuberance, they'll feel that & respect it & you'll feel you're living your best life.

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