After 2 posts about ‘seeing’ your Yoga I thought I better ‘Yin’ it out with a couple of ‘FEELING’ your Yoga post :). Its all about balance 🙂 :
Sometimes practitioners find it very hard to let go of the visual measures even years into their practice; I think it’s the way we are conditioned outside of the Yoga room. ‘Seeing is believing’ and all that. Some step into the Yoga class and immediately are looking for the visual measures e.g. height and depth. Unfortunately, for some when they don’t see this occurring with ‘ease’ in their own body they start to implement force (the opposite of feeling). I know they only do this because this is often the way of the world outside the Yoga room. The forcing through issues, push, push push to succeed, to be the best, many are conditioned to do ‘whatever deemed necessary regardless’ to get to the end goal. They see people working hard in the Yoga room and they may have confused the ‘intensity of giving 100% best effort’ with ‘force’. So, there you have it, I frequently see/recognise some trying to dominate their body by invading it with a process they are more familiar with: Force.
Force comes from ego which is always best left outside the Yoga room because of the interference it can cause in your sensitivity to your practice. It interferes with your ability to be mindful, to be present, to listen to and respond properly to your body, to tune into the breath and the feelings arising each moment, the ability to feel your practice not just physically but spiritually as well. The minute they force, they have stopped practicing Yoga.
Yoga is not all about big grand gestures. I have had some of my best classes where I have felt powerful, strong, stable and ease in the pose and not necessarily gone high or deep (similarly I have had super rewarding classes where the height and depth crept in unexpectedly just by applying the right technique and feeling my way into the micro moves necessary in the moment).
I like to take myself off down the back of the class every now and then to a spot where I cannot see myself in the mirror just so I can ‘fine’ fine tune 🙂 into my feelings and breath a bit more. E.g. How does an action make me feel physically, if I tweak it /experiment with the action does it create strain or ease a strain? Is the point of resistance I am feeling the RIGHT point of resistance to work on? Decisions need to be made and then I adjust myself again as a result of the experiment. Sometimes you might see me (either at front or back of room) hanging out around the beginning of a pose (especially in the first set) as I re-assess my set ups and try to refine my positioning with a hopes of better proprioception in future. When you do this Yoga a lot you can afford to spend time/classes on things like this. You become more sensitive to the unique little ‘funnies’ in your body (if you have any 🙂 ) and you learn to take action based on feedback that you have ‘listened’ / ‘felt’ for in the moment. Your subsequent action will then be a fully informed decision! YOU CANNOT BE ‘TOO FEELING’ IN YOGA; it is definitely a quality you want to nurture in your practice for your practice.
This is why Bikram Yoga is never dull. Yes, the sequence is the same but YOU are never the same and therefore your practice will NEVER be the same. There is fulfilment to be had PER CLASS through being process driven rather than goal driven. Feeling your way in your Yoga helps you develop your connection with yourself. Forcing your way takes you further away from your true shiny self. Deep down you know this is a truth. The reward? An ability to FEEL more than you have ever felt before.
Om Om Om You cannae deny what you FEEL inside!
more reading… FEEL YOUR YOGA