What do you call a downward facing dog in a room of upward facing dogs?
ME - in a yoga class this week!
Hold up. You mean to say I made it to an actual class, in studio again this week!
Yep, I did!
There is something to be said about being out of synch, with anything in life. The outlier, the anomaly, the deviation. My yoga practice this week brought forth that at times I swim against the current, I go out on a limb and I stand out on my own. I was the sole person in downward facing dog and well, loved it!
At other times, I like to join the crowd, keep in line and stay with the group. Maybe it is from my rhythmic synchronized swimming days that I think I must be on cue (or else) or maybe I like to be lost in the pack.
Either way, I think my home practice has allowed me to march to the beat of my own drum or more likely breath through my own practice that suits my needs. I freely admit to love breathing long breaths; seven, eight, nine counts at a time, inhaling and exhaling. There is almost nothing else that calms me like extended breathing. Sometimes I follow this count as I move through asanas, yet at other times I move without it.
Let me be clear. This infamous downward facing dog was in the middle of the class and likely the fifth or sixth one of the practice. I was rolling through flow/vinyasa and making my movements and transitions relatively quick. No slow breathing here!
It got me to thinking that…
A. this is my practice. The teacher had no concern, nor did my fellow classmates (really?! They probably had no idea I was the odd ball out). If this is for me and me alone, then who cares that I am moving quicker (or slower for that matter) than the rest of the class.
B. as a teacher, I must recognize the rhythm of the participants' practice. I, too, cannot get worried about how synchronized the group is or how well they follow my cues. As long as everyone is safe and doing what they need to do for themselves, then they can follow their own breath too.
The overarching theme, however, is that one must follow their own breath. That is what does matter.
In doing a little poking around the internet, I found this lovely and meaningful quote from Thich Nhat Hanh. Enjoy!
My date with I Embrace…my breath and my practice.
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.