I recently did a yoga class by my guru yoga teacher and there was magic – there’s usually magic, but this day was different.
I do a Yin style yoga class a couple times per week. Yin is very gentle and restorative and you hold poses for a long time – 5 minutes sometimes!! It’s my new ‘thing’ and if I want to feel like me, I need to be sure I do it. Of course I want to feel like this all the time so I’m getting pretty serious about making sure I schedule this ‘me’ time. My body is loving moving and I’m finding this fills my tank and ensures I then have oodles of energy for everyone else (good message to all those giving mothers out there!). Remember it’s like the Qantas mask theory – put it on yourself first, then your kids/others.
Moving gets endorphins flying through my body and I find myself in quite a creative space which is something I keep tapping into (you may have noticed my posts can be a bit philosophical sometimes – yoga!). If I can move even for 20 minutes every day (give or take) I do it. I always feel better after it.
This particular day my yoga guru told me there would be some new people in the class that had never done yoga. A couple of them were quite large and although we each do our own practice, it reminded me that yoga is for everyone and all poses can be adapted. My teacher started off asking if everyone knew what yoga meant? The real meaning? We didn’t. He said ‘it means UNION of mind, body, breathe and soul’. So any time we needed to do something, whether it was a challenge or not, if we accessed all of these things in our yoga practice they would be so much easier. Explaining why we were doing yoga and how anyone can and should do yoga was so powerful. There is no wrong or right. Everyone works to their own level and pushes themselves. Going back to simple basic poses was so powerful and it was so great to see everyone doing their own version, pushing themselves and knowing that everyone was in their own world and you could feel big changes.
We did a gentle hold that was easier with legs up the wall so half of the class did it this way. We all got to rest in between the poses, probably a bit more than normal, to really emphasize the movements and feel the changes. My monkey mind really slowed down – as it does – and I was where I needed to be… calmness ruled.
As we lay in svasana (lying on our back, palms up, eyes closed, toes dropped open) towards the end, I didn’t know where my yoga guru was – his voice was coming from all over. He was playing beautiful music by Sigrid and he started to sing along so calmly and casually like he was all alone without a care in the world. He was in a happy and relaxed place – my yoga guru really lives and breathes yoga – right down to his beautiful singing at the end of our class. What a lesson for all of us. Live and do what you want when you want and don’t care about anyone else. I felt a tear fall from my eye as the music finished up. I almost always have a tear after yoga now because it makes me feel and get out of my brain and it is magic!
After the class we all said how much we enjoyed the class. One of the new people hadn’t been able to sit cross legged on the bolster at the beginning. After opening her hips and doing the class, she sat at the end with her legs crossed without fidgeting with a great smile. This was a huge transformation. Later my yoga guru told me that this woman had told him his class was such an awakening for her that she had tears streaming down her face and it had really had a profound effect. Before, she didn’t think yoga was for her. Our guru said that was after 1 class, imagine after a week or a month? He was so moved too, it was beautiful. I told him, this is why you do what you do and you share the yoga world with all of us and are re-paid with magical moments like this.
Yoga is for everyone. Imagine if we all took time for ourselves to move – even 5-10 minutes a day – and got those great endorphins pumping through out body. The world would be a very different place.