Monday, January 16, 2012

Aim True - Day 10

Click and play yoga with me.

Find the Connection to Your Core
Vinyasa Flow
Level 2
Kathryn Budig

Learn how to move fluidly through your practice by finding the connection to your core. Sun salutation work lead up to crow, side plank and headstand. 
Yep, in a shocking turn of events, this one is going on the favorites list. Why is it shocking? Because I loathe core work. But this wasn't a core work class, exactly. It was using the core to find stability in other poses, not just 200 Ardha Navasana to Navasana repetitions. And I dug it. I dug the work in Crescent (Kripalu Warrior I), Warrior I (traditional), Warrior 2 and Lateral Angle. I actually appreciated the forearm plank to side plank work. There was a very ample cool down and Savasana. It was a really well-rounded, balanced class that would be a solid practice any day. 

I've noticed that the moment we step to the front of the mat for Surya Namaskara A after the warm-up has become REALLY sacred for me, as have the first few sun salutations. The ritualistic aspect of it is like returning to something comfortable and understood. It's one of the reasons that, despite the fact that they really didn't stress sun salutations as part of my Kripalu training, I really like making them a part of the classes that I teach. I would love for my students to start having that feeling I have - that sense of familiarity and ritual - when we practice Surya Namaskara A. I always (always!) teach some variation of a six motions of the spine warm up, though, which may be what is most familiar to my students. Or maybe they really don't pay much attention, I'm not 100% sure. =)

So here's the other shocker: I shouldn't even be writing this right now because I didn't mean to practice today. That's right, I had given myself the day off after two days of intense practice on Saturday and Sunday. But I got home tonight after teaching two classes and working all day, and I HAD to practice yoga. I guess this is one of those revelations I've had countless times before and will have countless times in the future: when I'm feeling sort of yucky or off-kilter, YOGA MAKES ME FEEL BETTER. And my body has caught on (again) after two weeks of a lot of personal yoga practice, and now when I'm feel yucky and off-kilter, I CRAVE YOGA. My body CRAVES yoga. This is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

The very first day of this challenge (the day I was fairly sure my body was made of cement) feels like a million years ago in terms of how I'm feeling physically these days. Every single day I feel a little bit stronger - in my legs, in my arms, in my shoulders and everywhere else. I feel a little more open, I find myself a little bit deeper in postures, I'm able to maintain dirgha/ujjayi breath throughout more of my practice...and guess what? I'm also feeling HAPPIER off the mat. See? All of the stuff I almost preach day in and day out when I teach is ACTUALLY TRUE. Yoga makes everything better, on and off the mat. You just have to get through the initial learning curve of understanding the practice, the postures and the breath. (Or you have to come back to your practice after a bit of time off and reconnect with it, which is what's happened for me.) And then it turns into this refuge, this place of comfort and solace that is always available. Outside of my family, my friends, my health, my freedom and my education, there is little I am more thankful for than my yoga practice. It really is a foundation for me, and after ten days of intense Vinyasa practice (and two restorative classes) I'm remembering that again.

The Sanskrit word JAI means VICTORY. Reconnecting and remembering why yoga is so wonderful via my own practice, in my own body, as my own experience certainly deserves a big, loud JAI, right?!?



  1. this was a good post! I practiced alone today in my room for the first time! It felt odd but not at all bad.

    1. aww, thanks, nick! funny to hear from you right now b/c i was just about to sit down and pay my attention to the videos from your recent gig! xoxo