Tag Archives: practice

Yoga, Practice, and getting to know your Self.

The “S Word.” We throw it around a lot.

Self esteem, self worth, self confident, self conscious….but do we really know who we are underneath? Aren’t we all just trying to figure that out? The discovery of the Elusive “S” all begins with a choice. It’s up to us. Are we ready to move towards our Self or shall we continue to cloud our feelings with dogma, theory, and adjectives without actually seeing whats underneath the practice of these things?
When the decision is made to be real and see ourselves it shows up in our yoga. In the way we move, the way we breathe, the way we fill up a room. It starts to shine out in to other things- how we interact with family, friends, acquaintances, challenging people. How we treat the earth, the dietary decisions we make, the way in which we honor our needs and the needs of others. It shows up…and the realization that all is well and always has been is clear.

But…

This takes work…

It takes, staring down those selves in the face. Yes multiple selves. All gritty, hazy, overwhelming, erratic, imbalanced, joyful, open, closed, excited, numb….whatever they are…without allowing “judgement” to cloud the truth. Seeing each self for what it is- purposeful or not, true or not- necessary or not. At times this may mean a sweaty, strong and powerful Vinyasa practice by the end of which we feel as if they layers of holding have just slipped off the skin with the drops of sweat on our mat; other times it may take a quite, long, slow, deep yin practice of connective tissue stretches that cause us to confront the deeply threaded feelings stored by the bodies internal memory system; still others it is simply sitting, breathing, noticing…but one thing is for certain. The theory of these things will get you only so far. The practice of them regularly and intently with complete honesty is what causes the shift. It is also important to approach the practice with an element of compassion. As the Yoga Sutras (1.33) state:
“In relationships, the mind becomes purified by cultivating feelings of friendliness towards those who are happy, compassion for those who are suffering, goodwill towards those who are virtuous, and neutrality towards those we perceive as non-virtuous.” The relationship with yourself and your practice is no different. Don’t forget to challenge your perspective.

YOGA ISN’T EASY, it is moving towards ease (sometimes through things that are hard). So ask yourself. Are you ready to make the choice? If not, keep practicing to the capacity you have right now. Even if it’s only doing ONE thing regularly, to hone your awareness of yourself in that circumstance, you are doing the work. When that choice is ready to be made you’ll have some legwork underway. 🙂
You can struggle and learn how to do things the hard way or you can settle and allow yourself to unfold with ease.

Namaste,

Jennifer

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Pull your head out of your asana

Today I was demo-ing a fun transition from crow-tripod headstand-crow in my advanced class. This is a transition that makes an appearance fairly regularly in my own practice but not one I’ve demoed in this class before. I was trying to talk, slow down the transition so students could observe the stacking of the bones and low belly lift when *kurplunck* on the way out of sirsasana and back in to bakasana it happened…the dreaded face plant. I have a fairly sore chin to prove it too. Of course I made light and drew attention back to the flow but it definitely made the cheeks turn a rosy shade of “oh no she didn’t.”

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