I've been really blessed to practice with an awesome teacher at Lotus Soul Gym. She has been in tune to our group's needs, even asking what we want from our practice at each class. And without fail, she always asks the class to make a silent intention for the practice.
My usual internal response to her direction is one word. Peace, rest, energy, love - something like that. But this week my intention was "to feel my practice". That being, physically engage with the body during each pose.
Now, you may think, come on Lisa, isn't that yoga through and through.
But honestly, how often do we just go through the motions and neglect being present in each distinct movement we do in yoga?
Lots - I bet.
So my goal was to stay focused on what muscle, joint, etc. were being utilized during each asana. In a sense being mindful in my practice.
A recent article on mindfulness, which my yoga intention ellicted, discusses how the physical body aids in noticing and regulating the wandering mind.
Since our teacher initiated a practice that fit our need(s), she provided a sequence of asanas that possibly was the most difficult one of all (i.e., hitting those tough spots that we knew needed work!)
Pigeon pose hit up the external hip rotators and my back...
Warrior III hit my legs hard...
And well plank, hit my core strength on multiple occasions as we practiced plank (and multiple variations) many times!
I had to stay extremely focused on my body and in the moment or I was lost. Especially with Warrior III...where I almost fell over!
I love the challenge that yoga provides both physically and mentally! I learn so much about myself and hope one day to provide this great favour to others as a teacher.
And on a final note, this week's practice makes me think of this song...
Aspiring Yoga Teacher
I've practiced yoga since I was a pre-teen and have always found it to keep me centered. I will be a teacher one day and this is my journey to discover teaching and practice.