One of the best things about yoga (if not THE best), is that after each practice, you really do grow and you really do transcend into a higher self. You become enlightened by your own abilities and the miracles of your amazing body. You learn, you discover a lot about yourself, and you gain a great deal of humility. When all of this radiates from ourselves, we put peace into our lives and into the lives of those around us.
You have a beautiful soul, yogi brother :’) This is why I love yoga- it is transformational in so many ways… *tear*
This is a great article from MindBodyGreen. Feed your mind, feed your soul, feed your asana. Enjoy and namaste :)
LETTING GO TO FLY OVER YOUR FEARS
By Heidi Kristoffer
When I first came to yoga, I was extremely inflexible in my body and in my mind. Super type-A, a total control freak. The concept or idea of “letting go” or “trusting in a higher power” was completely ludicrous to me.
One of my teachers, David Regelin, has often said in class, “well adjusted people are willing to readjust.” I always laughed, thinking it was a funny play on words. I was more than happy to take or make adjustments… on the yoga mat. But, off the mat? Off the mat, I realized I was not so willing to re-adjust or let go of things or concepts I “thought” were “right”.
Aparigraha: one of the Yamas of yoga: non-attachment. Most relevant to me at that time in my life: non-attachment to outcome: doing things without expecting any results.
Which brings me (shocking) to my favorite subject: inversions. Inversions and falling. Being okay with falling. Doing the poses, showing up to the mat, with no expectations of any sort of out come. Letting go.
One of the biggest barriers in practitioners’ inversion practices is the fear of falling. When you are falling out of an inversion, you are decidedly not in control.
One day, I was on a lawn (a rare moment for a New York City dweller) and I had an overwhelming urge to just try to flip over into wheel (warning: back must be super warm to do this, and being comfortable in wheel is necessary.) So, I tried. It took a few (a lot of) attempts: I kept getting to that edge where I might fall over, and my control reflexes would kick in, and I would stop myself. But finally, finally, I fell into wheel. What a rush! I did it again, and again, and again. The more I did it, the more comfortable I became with those few scary moments of being completely out of control. Then, out of nowhere, I found my center: upside down on my hands. I am a big believer that in order to find one’s center, it is helpful to know what off-center is.
Inversions are a big part of yoga for me, as recognizing that we can’t always be in control is a big part of yoga for me. If you are always planning the result, it is a bit difficult to be in the present and focusing on your breathing. So, learn to fall. (And when you realize that landing in wheel or doing a cartwheel is the worst that can happen, there is nothing to be scared of any longer!) Falling is part of yoga, just as it is part of life. I like to laugh when I fall, because, why not? I am certainly not going to get upset about it. Children never get annoyed or angry or embarrassed when they fall — why should they? When is it that we, as we get older, lose the ability to fall, learn from it (maybe re-adjust), and get back up? Children and their actions can be great teachers. They have yet to develop an ego, and thus react to situations completely differently. As the saying goes, “It is not how many times you fall, it is how many times you get back up.”
So fall, be okay with it. Don’t judge yourself. Be okay with not controlling every second of every situation; “adjust” your mindset. Let. Go. And then, fly over your fears!
I don’t mind the questions at all :)
I practice a variety of Hatha yoga classes, and the bulk of my practice comes from the FLOW ^__^ Vinyasa flow, that is. The “flow” I’ve been trained in, of course, is a beautiful combination of Kundalini, Ashtanga, Bikram, and Anusara. I like to incorporate Kriya when I can. Kriya is very humbling. My yoga horizons are still very much thirsty for other styles and lineages, though, and my journey is ongoing. It is a privilege and an honor to do what I do.
As of now, I am a vegan. I’ve been an on-and-off vegetarian for years until now. I was never a big fan of meat (I hate steak), and when I did eat meat, it was chicken and fish. Oh, and here’s the thing- I couldn’t eat meat when it was attached to its skeleton, haha. Eventually, after tons of research and health evaluations, I asked myself, “Do I really need meat in my diet?” Slowly, I weaned myself off of meat (practically IMMEDIATELY after watching Earthlings and some other documentaries). When someone asks me why I don’t eat meat, I always tell them it’s for health reasons along with animal cruelty. I try to eat raw as much as I can, so a lot of fresh veggies and fruits. Oh…and I eat like a million times a day to keep my metabolism active, haha. Truthfully, my body feels so much better and healthier.
We’re all different, you know? To each his own. It’s important to listen to our body and we have to cater to it. I don’t ever preach to people about my diet, though. I don’t judge people for what they eat either. You are your body’s best teacher. You know your body best. Listen to your body, but also educate yourself about the foods you are putting into it. Our bodies really become what we eat. What I’m really saying is, just take care of yourself…meat-eater or not :)
After being a dedicated yogi, athlete, weight-lifter, runner, you eventually stop doing things that don’t feel right to your body. I’ve had somebody in my class tell me, “This is my second yoga class ever. I quit smoking after my first because after that day, the cigarettes didn’t feel right anymore.” Good for him.
Listen to your body, sweetheart. You know it best.
I truly appreciate the love, thank you.
“It takes courage to show up in this life, to show up to yourself and all of your crap. Yet, this is what we need to do if we’re going to be able to serve others in any authentic type of way; to come face to face with our baggage and plow through it in order to heal, to grow, to serve. Yoga helps with this; with the showing up, with the courage and with the strength.” -Cat O’connor, mindbodygreen.com
LET GO AND SAVASANA
In our 90-minute yoga classes, we often say, “We practice for 85 minutes just to prepare ourselves for this one pose.”
Savasana will be a different experience with each practice, as with every asana in every practice. It is believed to be one of the most challenging poses to get into because it requires the mind and body to be at so much ease. It’s pretty obvious why it takes so much to be calm in this corpse pose- I mean, we’ve just done a bunch of heart-pumping poses, right?! And we’re probably still trying to get over that little piece of victory…”OMG. I was totally hardcore in that pose. I. am. legit. Oh, crap…what if I don’t get it next time? Ah, whatever, now is what’s up!”
But, savasana is where all the “real” yoga happens! It is the pose where our bodies are sinking in and marinating everything we’ve just done for the past hour and a half, hour, or fifteen minutes! It becomes fuel for our next practice; but it also builds inner peace and a calm mind.
To practice savasana means to be in CONSCIOUS relaxation, and that requires presence and patience. Let go of unwanted elements and surrender yourself to that moment. Nothing but good and beneficial stuff comes out of it :P
DON’T NEGLECT YOUR SAVASANA!
“The highest happiness comes upon the yogi whose mind is calmed.” -Bhagavad Gita