It’s midday and I’m just home from an awesome yoga class in which I continuously observe myself in action. I went to a short ONE hour flow (i.e. very short as most classes are 90 min) and was expecting it to be easier that my regular practice, which is 90 min about 4 times a week on average. Well, blow me down with a little feather, as an hour of deeper and harder intensity prevailed. Arrrgh. I thought I was going to “get off lightly” and recoup a bit of energy and do less as it was shorter. Really?
How often does this same idea play out in your lives?
Sometime we need shorter zaps of intensity and sometimes we need to drag ourselves through the endurance required to go the whole hog. Sometimes we have work with our minds, sometimes our flailing bodies, sometimes both. Mostly we have to let go of dratted assumptions!
I go to yoga so I can go to life.
I let yoga do me so I can do life.
I process my stuff in yoga so I can lead a simpler, more evolved life outside of yoga.
My biggest attempt is to become yoga – the union of body and mind.
So often it is our weak MINDS that allow us to become lazy students of life, and in our bodies.
You also need to remember that what you DO has an impact on others — whilst trying to fight off flu and balance on one leg in yoga, I found another life lesson a little while back.
No matter what YOUR form of personal exercise is that always calls you back, drags your butt back to come and practice it, I am sure that it too, shows you a way to manoeuvre through your life? If not, maybe it’s time to change what you do?
I get so many insights and lessons, little “klaps” from the universe and every now and then I will also get blessed with a deep sense of strength and peace from doing yoga regularly ….
A couple of months back I found that the general “discipline” in the classes at one point started to wane — or maybe, quite possibly, it’s simply what I was noting at that moment as a kind of mirror. So, is it external, or internal and am I being mindful of what’s going on around me or perhaps “vomiting” my own energy and projections where it doesn’t need to be?
Yoga, just like life, at the studio where I practice has a few rules or “guidelines” in place to keep the space sacred and safe for all. One of them is SILENCE in the practice room, another is arriving ON TIME for class and not letting students in late, another is that unless it is really, really serious, you are asked to STAY IN THE ROOM – now if you have EVER done Bikram yoga, sometimes that last one alone is the hardest of all. Staying in that hot, sweaty, throbbing intense heat can push every button I have ever thought possible. And on other days it’s like a welcome breeze.
So often it is our weak MINDS that allow us to become lazy students of life, and in our bodies. My insight one morning was that what we do gives others permission. In the last few classes I’d attended all of the above guidelines for discipline had been seemingly “broken” or “negotiated”. The moment one person crosses the line, the next one does so too. I notice that the moment the first student leaves the room, for whatever reason, that 9/10 times another one quickly follows, and then people walk around getting tissues etc , etc. It’s like a negative domino effect……BAM.
So the opposite is true too – that by STAYING in the room, staying in the pose another moment, just one more second, enables others to glean strength from you too and be the positive domino effect. The moment you give up, it gives others permission to give up too. So what are YOU doing in life, that is negatively or positively affecting YOUR life, and thereby the domino effect to others around you. Now I KNOW that in yoga we are only meant to concentrate on our own two eyes, our own experience etc, but one cannot deny the group consciousness — otherwise we’d all be practising yoga on our own at home.
My own personal journey is to notice when I’m being judgemental – of both myself and others, and yoga provides that chuckle and annoyance all the time.
We are the observers of our thoughts, observers of our surroundings, as within so without.
Yoga is the most amazing practice when done in synergy with others as that energy can circulate the room and lift you farther and higher than you could ever go alone — be mindful when you break that energy out of sheer lack of willpower, being unconscious or lazy.
Be mindful of how soon you give up, as the class is only as strong as the weakest link.
I promise to do my utmost to stay a moment longer, be present a second more.
These pics were taken for my latest photo shoot and are two of my favourite yoga poses that require bulldog like determination and focus. I do NOT look as calm as this when I’m mid class – you’ll find me all redfaced and sweaty. CHARMING! You cannot think of anything else when in these poses – lol I just fall over if I wander off in my mind, or have drunk too much wine the night before !
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With Lightness, Kate
PS. Have you done my free video series to “Quick Shift 1 Thing”. You can sign up on www.kate-emmerson.com