Wednesday, March 3, 2010

03.03.10 Advanced Yoginess

Yoga Time: 90 mins (class I took from Murray)

Today I heard something from Murray that I think I already discovered on my own, but hearing it really helped me realize it. As we were starting the class, he commented that an advanced yogi/yogini wasn't one who could twist into pretzels or do the fanciest balances and inversions; rather, it was the person who was present throughout their practice, the person who knew when to pull back and when to push harder, the person who can focus on their breath throughout their practice and moves with purpose both in and out of the yoga room.

I don't know that I had verbalized that thought to myself before, but I had been thinking along those lines as I've been exploring my personal practice and as I've been watching students as I assist in classes. I still get jealous of students who can do things that I can't do, but over the past several weeks, it hasn't been the same type of jealousy; it has been more of an admiration-jealousy. And, at the same time, I've noticed students that have amazing flexibility or strength, but that aren't present in their practice: they move quickly and fall in and out of poses unsafely. When I see that, I think "what a shame," and I try to give them some words of advice to move them forward in their yoga journey.

But as I heard Murray say those words tonight, I smiled, and I thought, "yes, of course." And his words also served as a reminder to me to not push past what my foot could do. I was more present in this practice than perhaps any before. I backed off and took a knee when a crescent lunge felt like too much for my foot. I didn't lift my right leg when in down dog in order to save my left foot from holding more of my weight. And I consciously felt my body and mind throughout the practice. Advanced (or at least more advanced) if I do say so myself.

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