- Yoga is about paying attention…
…to breath, body, thoughts, sensations, emotions, whatever the heck comes up throughout your practice. If you are doing mindless motions, then you are doing aerobics, not yoga.
- Transformation happens more easily when we are gentle with ourselves.
Throughout class we stay present with smooth, even, deep breaths. If your breath becomes shallow or jagged, you’ve gone too far “beyond your edge.” This isn’t to say that everything about class is easy. It is possible to challenge yourself and be gentle at the same time – it’s a balancing act, an ebb and flow of opposite energies.
- Yoga practice is an opportunity to slow down and de-stress.
Life is already too busy and fast paced. Most people spend the majority of their time in “fight or flight” mode. By slowing down, being mindful and taking deep breaths on your yoga mat, you reset your nervous system to the relaxation response. Aahhhh…that feels better!
- Our physical bodies, emotions, and life circumstances are all interconnected.
How could they not be? Your body is experiencing every moment of your day. If your life has you stressed out, or you try to control everything around you, chances are your muscles are tight. Our bodies are really pretty smart and willing to communicate to us if we’re willing to listen. Therefore, your yoga practice can be used as a way to inform the rest of your life.
- There is no one, right way.
Our bodies are all different; hence, we’ll all look different in yoga postures. There is no picture perfect pose that is right for everyone. Every style of yoga teaches postures in a slightly different way…heel down or up? Toes point in or out? My answer is, “What feels better to you?” Or better yet, “How do the two options feel different in your body?” That said, there are some important alignment concerns to watch for so that your joints all stay safe. This is the value of being in a class – the teacher watches for these things.
- Nobody knows more about you and your body than you do.
If you don’t believe that, then perhaps you are just disconnected from your body, and I can help you fix that. Since I believe that you are the most knowledgeable person when it comes to your body, and I don’t like to make assumptions about what other people are feeling, I don’t do many (if any) physical hands-on adjustments during group yoga classes. I do adjust students during private sessions, when I can first check in with them about what they feel. You can always ask questions and receive adjustments before or after group classes too.