Through our senses we communicate with the world around us and translate what we sense and see into action/reaction etc. I really feel our Western world is at saturation and overload even, from ‘eye candy’ in everything we do. Images of the next desired thing adorn our shop shelves and we often compare ourselves to what we see.
The Yoga community has in some part created ‘a look’ in the western world and a trend to a large extent, on how it looks to be in the best posture. It’s easy to get swept along by cool chicks and blokes doing very bendy Yoga without thinking about the impact on your own body if you blindly copy.
I am not here to slate what is in essence evolution happening which is a great thing. In fact, I avidly follow a great gal called Rachel Brathen, who is a handstand expert on the beach in sunny Aruba. She made a great point on Instagram (My handle is @yogag_)the other week, which is the subject of this blog.
Focus on what your Yoga postures feels like, not what they looks like.
You can easily self teach from home these days with the explosion of online classes but even if you go to a regular class, your teacher may urge you towards posture perfection which can harm your body if you try to spend too much time intellectualizing and visualizing your postures.
EVERYTHING in life is felt, that’s how we connect to our world but it’s surprising to me, how many people I adjust in class, are just doing a posture, when I can feel a struggle happening in their body. It seems that their minds are focused on instructions but somehow the translation of the posture to make it personal and FEEL good, is missing.
Yoga isn’t goal orientated. It’s a ‘beingness’ on the mat in the right here and now. Postures can contort if not done with awareness and Yoga certainly isn’t a ‘cure all.’
Yoga teachers have to give overall general instruction because of different abilities in class and we are only GUIDES not leaders, so my humble advice is this.
Take instruction and translate it into what makes sense in your own body. If sitting on your heels makes you wince in knee pain, you aren’t gonna turn out like Buddha if you sit it out!
LISTEN every second to the sacred call of your body and if it doesn’t feel right to do a deep back bend then don’t just because everyone else in class is. That’s a biggie, trying to do what the crowd is doing just to fit in.
Make Yoga a personal journey of exploration and unfolding. Sure challenge that stiff body if it needs a little help but don’t let your mind and eyes copy and push if you are not ready from the neck down.
May your Yoga journey be long and fruitful. Namaste
If you want to do more Yoga with Gina, then join me in class if you live locally or for my online classes and tips