Wednesday, March 17, 2010

16-17.03.10 Reflecting on Yogic Life

16.03.10, Tuesday: 90 mins Guided Class
17.03.10, Wednesday: 75 min personal practice with a friend

Last night I practiced at my favorite studio (bodymindlife--Rozelle). I especially liked it because there were 2-3 people assisting in the class. I haven't taken a class that had an assistant in it since I've begun assisting in Martine's classes. It was nice to experience the assisting from the other side of the class. I didn't focus much on the assistants, since I was practicing, but I did tune into them a few times to notice how they touched participants during the sun salutes. Since I always feel uncomfortable touching people during those, I watched to see what they did. (They walked around and gently touched heads or caressed spines.) Something else that I realized throughout the class was how little I noticed them (even though I was trying to pay some attention to what they were doing). This actually reassured me that I am probably not as intrusive as I sometimes feel while walking around a class.

Today I wanted to share my yoga practice, and so I talked aloud through my personal practice with a friend, Natalie. I didn't focus on her practice, because I wasn't really teaching her; I was practicing with her. It was really enjoyable to just share my time on the mat with a close friend. I noticed that the time flew by. We had 75 minutes until we needed to move on with our evenings, but it seemed to me that we only spent a few minutes on the mat. When I checked the time part way through our practice, I was shocked at how much time had passed. I think that the time seemed to go especially quickly because of the positive energy I felt radiating between Nat and I.

Last night I spent time reflecting on my yoga practice and how I've been feeling lately. The conclusion that I came to was that I am not feeling yogically balanced in how I am living my life. Nothing specific sparked this feeling; rather, I observed the critical lens through which I typically view the world. I often analyze people, including myself, and judge them (& myself) harshly. I don't often do anything with this judgement but hold it in my head. Last night I recognized that my act of judging is un-yogic. It hit a little hard; I felt like I had slammed into a wall. Having to continually hold all of these judgements is a heavy practice.

Tonight, reflecting back on that realization, I also see the harshness with which I judged myself for judging. And so I go back to the need to treat myself (and others) with kindness. Coming out of my practice with Natalie tonight, I felt light and uplifted. Through the practice with her, I was able to release some judging I had done throughout the day. I also paid special attention to not judge the practice: when I felt unstable in my attempts at headstand during our practice, I told myself to release the instant critical thoughts that arose. And, for the most part, I did.

Like all aspects of yoga, practice makes perfect.

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