Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Follow Directions

As far as I am concerned, the most important skill a yogi can learn is to:


No joke. And let me tell you why. And I will use myself as the silly example.

There is a point to staying with the teacher, things are in a specific order and specific timing. I don't know why but I get royally annoyed when yogis bring the hand up to the center of their chest too early during Tree Pose. I just say in my head "Yes, everyone can see that you know how the posture goes."

And I will admit that I have done that. You get excited that you know what's next and that you are starting to "get it."

This is a rabbit trail but let me finish it out... ;) And I am working hard on focusing on my own practice, but there are some habits you lose when you don't practice for even a small amount of time. Like staring at yourself in the mirror. I consider yoga my "me time" and somehow I look at everyone but myself. I hear teachers say all the time that Savasana is often the hardest thing to do in yoga because we feel the need to constantly be busy.

I disagree. I think the hardest thing to do for a yogi or yogini is to concentrate on yourself. It is your time to fix yourself and deal with all the issues in your life and body. It feels so uncomfortable to look at just yourself, to see yourself for what you really are. Most people feel such negative emotions when looking at themselves. And the challenge is to look in the mirror, see yourself in an honest light, and love yourself. A very difficult feat.

Back to my story. So, here I am. I've been practicing for over a year now and we were prepping for Awkward.  Arms up, arms parallel to the floor, fingers together, triceps tight... and.... Boom. I sit into the chair too early. And not only that, I brought 3 other people down with me.

Now, I felt silly. I stood back up and waited to sit until my hips touch the chair with the rest of the class.

I realized my mistake and corrected it. But there are the people who don't. And they are usually the ones who have been practicing for just a couple of months. They are starting to lock their knee more and learning to breathe only through the nose, and feel stoked that they can anticipate what comes next in the class.

Now that I think about it, my main topic and rabbit trail do tie in together!

As I am learning to pay attention only to my own practice, I am not as affected by the girl who starts kicking out too early in bow pose. Or the other girl who goes into Balancing Stick too early, and her earliness ALWAYS causes her to fall, which sometimes causes me to fall if I am not focusing on my own practice.

It is a realization that staying with the teacher causes the group momentum and energy to stay high. And it is not realized because they have never truly felt what the momentum feels like. To feel so many bodies moving at the same moment. Such power and it's tangible.

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