Monday, August 25, 2014

Practicing Mindfulness in Asana

Saturday I spent the evening dancing in Manitou with my troupe.  The sun was beating down pretty hard in the beginning, so much so that sweat was just rolling down my legs.  Eventually the cloud cover moved in and it was very nice weather to dance in.  After two hours of dance, though, I was exhausted.  Sure, there were breaks between sets, but I was on my feet the whole time. Have I mentioned I have a desk job?  Yeah, that was pretty rough on my body.  It was so much fun that I would do it again, despite my physical discomfort that evening and yesterday.

Yesterday I went to yoga in the park.  There is, now, only one more left and one of my favorite teachers was teaching flow yesterday.  I had to go!

We started with some gentle seated twists, moved into Cat/Cows, and then into Child's pose.  From there we moved into (the sometimes dreaded) Downward Facing Dog.  This one was extremely difficult for me as my whole lower body was tight and sore.  Eventually we moved into a Forward Fold and I realized that I would just have to take it easy.

For much of the class I would either sit back, drink a little water, and watch what others were doing or I would sit in Child's Pose.  I didn't beat myself up for it.  I knew my body was overworked and needed a little rest.  Yoga isn't just about the poses, it's about being present, about mindfulness, maybe a little meditation too.  I was at peace with my body and how I was feeling.

During the middle of the class, we had the opportunity to do an assisted hand stand.  While my lower body wasn't very happy with me, my upper body was up for the challenge.  My friend assisted me and it was one of the best hand stands I've done so far in my little yoga journey.  I'm grateful for that opportunity and my friend being there to help me feel stable.  That's half the battle in inversions really.

It may seem that I am harping on this subject a lot.  We really need to be ok with listening to our bodies.  Just like we should try to get exercise and eat healthier foods, we need to actually listen and not overdo it.  This is the only body we have.  Medicine can help us in some ways, but I don't want to have surgery to fix something when I could just back off a little.

And you know what?  This class was one of the best ones I have had.

Namaste my friends,


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