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Newnan, Georgia, United States
I am a yoga student continuously studying, taking workshops and practice, practice, practice.
Currently enrolled in a 230hr Yoga Teacher Training. I hope to share that with you here.
Born & raised in the south along the banks of the Mississippi in Louisiana. Married in 2003 and transplanted to Georgia.
A southern Yogini at heart.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Imperfect Yoga= I'm Perfect

Below is a video by Cora Wen of Yogabloom
I've yet to practice with Cora. However, she is inspiring to me. She teaches workshop at AYC for the 500 hour training
I really enjoyed the video. The concept "Imperfect Yoga"
Nicole and I were just talking about this last night on the phone. That Yoga Journal (although a good source of yoga resources and some interesting articles) the yoga they depict in their photos and such is not what I personally consider the everyday yogi.

I would love to see a Yoga magazine/publication that emobidies curvy women/men, tattooed women/men, every shape size color and gender.
But for now all we can do is bring this to our mats, classrooms and communities. That it doesn't matter what you look like, or if you will ever touch your toes.

In other Yoga related materials, I am still reading away in Erich Schiffmann's "Yoga- The Spirit and practice of Moving into Stillness"
Part of our teacher training reading assignments.
I started a chapter called "The Wind through the Instrument" I thought to myself "this is going to be a dull chapter"
However it ended up being one of the most interesting ones yet. I highlighted pretty much the entire thing.
Here are some bits and pieces that really stuck out to me and gave me a few "Ah-ha" moments:

  • Pushing is an active force that moves the body further and deeper into the posture, gently exploring areas of tightness. Yielding is a passive force with which you wait and listen to that moment-to-moment feedback from your body; it's a letting go of resistance that allows the active force to be successful without being aggressive.
    The pushing & yielding elements occur simultaneously, as in a dance. Done propery, therefore, yoga is a matter of pushing and yielding, of "doing" and "not doing" at the same time.
    Skill in yoga invovles orchestrating these two forces with the breath.
  • Merging the pose with the breath will also increase your sensitivity. You'll feel what's happening with more clarity. You'll notice how holding the breath dulls your feeling- sensitivity; and how letting the breath flow freely and deeply increases it.
    The idea is to increase your sensitivity to the inner feeling of your body and let it guide you into appropriate action for that patricular moment.
  • If your mind is elsewhere while your body is doing the pose, you are not actually doing yoga. You are not in "union" with what is happening.
    The practice here is that merging & becoming one with what you are doing. You're practicing yoga, yoking "or joining with"
    You're learning to merge, to yoke your conciousness/awareness with your now- experience.
    You're training yourself to keep your attention immersed in what's happening.
    You're learning to stay with the flow of the breath in order to stay with the feeling of the pose. The inner feeling will then guide you and tell you what to do.
    You will have learned to do yoga when you've become willing to be guided from within.
  • What it means to live a yogic life, the idea is to continue this awareness all day long- not just in poses.
    During the day, practice this same kind of listening to your inner guidance by paying attention to how you feel then allow yourself to do and be as you are prompted.
    Asana and meditation practice make it easier to listen and follow your inner voice during the rest of your life.
    They strengthen your ability to meditate constantly, always to be listening inwardly for guidance.
These quotes all mean something to me. Either they are reminders of what I am missing in my personal practice or they great tips that I want to share with those around me.
This book seems to be a great starting point for new Yogi's as well. The Asana and meditation practices are great building blocks for people new to yoga and meditation.

The Asana practice has 14 fundamental poses for you to build upon as you learn them inside and out you will being to build upon them with more and more poses.

Well enough yoga talk for now.


Marie said...

I've been hearing a lot about this book everywhere. I think it will totally be on my post finals reading list :) Come on December!!!

Marie said...

Also, I loved the video on imperfect yoga. I'm learning that even though I may have yoga classes with people who society may consider perfect, even they have things they don't like about their bodies. The more I worry about how I look to others, the more I am not being present in life around me and in my body. Just because I am curvy doesn't mean I'm not strong :)