Friday, March 7, 2014

Forgetting and Remembering..Part 2 Related to the Poses

I was pondering more about this topic and how it relates to the practice. If you had a scale that ranked people's effort during the practice and "10" was 110% and "1" was barely trying...I would say when I started practicing and up until not so long ago I was a proud 10. I used every muscle I could to "muscle" my way through the class forcing my not so flexible body into the poses that I sought to relieve all my tension.  Funny to admit but it was true. It felt good to just give it all and check out mentally from all in my life that was causing my body to be so tight and rigid.  The problem being that I felt good in my mind when I left yoga but my body was not really enjoying it as much as it could. I didn't really even realize that I was using up so much of my energy so frivolously. It was not until I started studying with some of my more recent teachers that they enlightened me to my habits. I realized I was overusing the very muscles that I was trying to relax... all by pushing forward with my "headstrong energy". I even noticed I was holding my breath during intense poses. None of this is uncommon and I understood this, but I was yoga did I not see this? At first, I became really upset with myself every time I realized I had "done it again" during class. Then I would catch myself before class was over and then I had a choice...change my habit for the remainder of class and let go of some effort and breathe more deeply or keep doing what I was doing. Sometime I chose wisely and sometimes habit won. I started to notice it quicker...and now I notice it more often than not when I get into the pose by the first three breaths. Just like the 5th chapter of the story in my previous post, now often I just choose a more mindful yoga class that allows me the time and space to really check in to how I am breathing and moving. I tell you all this to remind myself and maybe others that our yoga practice is a very clear look into how we are moving through life. In the practice we learn many new things about poses, breath, alignment, and mindfulness... and we can cognitively understand and take the information in. Still, we are creatures of habit and we are bound to often forget this until we have lived the information in our bodies many times enough to create new pathways in our brains. Instead of being frustrated at our lack of getting it right all the time and remembering all we have learned, we can choose to be fascinated at how we are slowly but certainly changing habits that no longer serve us and incorporating the new information that we are finally ready to comprehend both mentally and physically. As a wise woman once told me the path from the head to heart is a short distance literally but sometimes a life-long journey actually. Good thing yoga is not a short term fix but a life long practice for discovering the new you each day. :)

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