I was teaching a yoga class recently, which included several students new to yoga asana (postures). As I introduced the next posture, I offered a modified pose more suitable for beginners. To my observation, everyone in the class moved into the more advanced pose.
It made me question why? When offered two options, why did everyone chose the most advanced?
I reflected on emulating.
We learn so much about ourselves on the yoga mat. As people we spend much of our time copying what other people are doing, perhaps it’s a tool of survival, learning that is instinctual – a force of nature. Yet we do it so well, that we often fail to take the time to check-in with ourselves and see how we are at any present moment. We just do. This lack of connection between our actions and our inner self may explain the imbalance and discontent that many people feel. It may also lead to injuries in yoga asana.
For my own journey in yoga, I can share my experience of learning. Yoga helps one to develop a witness state, where we can observe our thoughts and perhaps come to an understanding that we are not our thoughts or mind. Then comes awareness. A greater awareness of the voice within. This is a challenging one, as sometimes you are aware of this voice … yet you catch yourself doing something (conflicting to that inner voice) and then in the midst of doing it, wondering…how did I get here? The third stage is awareness and then honouring and respecting that awareness, honouring and respecting you.
I always share with students that they are unique. Their yoga practice is their practice and we may all look very different in yoga postures due to our uniqueness. I encourage them to honour and respect themselves. This is yoga – perhaps even advanced yoga!
Let go of the external, let go of judgment, let go of what other people are doing. Listen to your inner voice and honour you.
Peace and love, Sky