What does your Yoga practice prepare you for? Inversions? Arm balances? Hip openers? Meditation? Attracting thousands of followers on Instagram?
Teachers often talk about getting outside one’s comfort zone as a way to recognize challenges during practice. Vinyasa enthusiasts love the tapas in an asana practice: holding poses, mastering fancy shapes, etc. It requires great skill and focus. But isn’t that merely a metaphor for life, because serious tapas is happening all over the world right now and are you prepared?
Yoga as preparation for death is a practice that teaches us how to adapt with change, how to truly live, and Love. It’s the ongoing practice of all eight limbs. Acknowledging that everything is impermanent brings a depth and meaning to life, to daily actions, how we choose to live, what we choose to eat, say, do, remember, who we choose to spend our time with. It shapes our whole reality because at a certain point, we realize that Yoga is everywhere in every relationship, in every thing. Everything is connected.
Does your Yoga practice prepare you for things like a growing pandemic that’s affecting your every move, threatening your quality of life, inculcating fear each time you watch the news? Has it shaped your relationships and a lifestyle that echoes simplicity, moderation and balance so that we can ride the wave of fear rationally, mindfully and kindly?
Yoga motivated and driven purely by aesthetics doesn’t prepare you for change, for covid-19, or even that final “death” pose, savasana. You may have mastered complicated shapes but unable to relax and enjoy a well-deserved savasana. Your nervous system yearns for that final pose and the ability to surrender. Deep surrender is powerful. It’s the Yin to your Yang. It’s what gets you through moments like these (and wouldn’t you say these are unprecedented times we’re facing)?
With surrender there is acceptance, allowance, letting things be from a place of peace. It requires a particularly quiet mind, humility, contentment and gratitude, vulnerability, softness, a letting down of one’s guard, a letting go of all you think you know, to simply be. Being-ness is an essential part of the practice. It allows us to respond to life with the greatest mental clarity and ease. This is what we teach in our Therapeutics course.
A real magic begins when we fully embrace Being-ness. It is here that the ego starts to loosen its grip and True presence arises. True presence is fertile ground for mindfulness and pure Awareness, not to be confused with self-consciousness, which are two very different things. Being conscious of the self refers one back to ego recognition of a “my” (fill in the blank). Mindfulness, however, goes well beyond this little container of a “me”, into the larger collective “We”.
Our Therapeutics course delves into all things (deeply) you through the combined practices of Yin Yoga, MyoFascial Roll-n-Release and Yoga Nidra, sweetened and simmered in meditation and mindfulness practice. Every day is an invitation to listen and honor your own felt experience to soothe and lull your nervous system to rest and calm, whilst bridging practice with the latest research on affective neuroscience and emotion regulation, pain science, and fascial health. These modalities are exceptional ways to heighten interoceptive and somatic awareness, find a sense of peace, relax the nervous system and recognize and regulate emotions which are forever changing. Yoga as a preparation for any kind of change certainly comes in handy right about now.
When mental chatter quiets and you are willing to honestly listen to your deepest heart, you don’t do Yoga. Yoga does you.
Join us in Bali for our 100 Hour YTT, November 9-21, 2020: Therapeutic Yin Yoga, MyoFascial Roll-n-Release and Yoga Nidra. You may be surprised at how much you reconnect with yourself and are able to ride the waves of change with greater ease during such trying times.