Friday, September 11, 2009

Living Your Yoga

In my Zen Flow Yoga Teacher Training/Life Transforming program, we talk about the 8 Fundamentals of teaching or practicing yoga. Now, I make it very clear that these 8 Fundamentals are not the end of the line as far as learning. I also make it very clear that yoga has been around for thousands of years so nothing I am teaching is new information; it's only my interpretation.

One of the 8 Fundamentals is to try new yoga styles and new instructors. Especially if you are new to yoga. This is so important! We talk about releasing judgment in yoga so if your first yoga class is a bust and you really hate it, try it again! Try someone new, try a new facility...just don't give up! And if you have been practicing a certain style for your entire life, it's time....try something new...just once!

Yoga is a science and various practices work differently for each individual. Not only that but if you reasearch and study yoga, every single style talks about stillness and finding our Self in our pratice. Yoga is not a religion but sometimes it is treated that way. People cling to their practice and/or their instructors like it was the ONLY thing out there.

I have actually witnessed students leaving a class when there was a substitute teacher. I'm not kidding! That is so sad! Not only for the substitue but also for the student - they may be missing some new life lesson. Consider for a moment the absent instructor. Wow, the responsibility they carry if they are the only one who can bring that student to a state of "enlightenment".

Personally I have been practicing Vinyasa Yoga for years. This has been "it" for me. While running my business, I really didn't make time for my own personal practice. But now, ah now I have time! No more excuses - I decided to heed my own advice and try new styles.

I started by taking Anusara from an amazing lady here in Vancouver. I love Anusara - opening our heart in every pose. It helps that she is such a gracious and loving person herself.

More recently I started taking Bikram Yoga from yet another amazing lady here in Vancouver. I really thought I would die the first class - truly. My heart never beat so fast. But, as in all styles of yoga, we talk about listening to your body. So we stop when we have to. We breathe when we have to. We sit down when we need to. Now, after only 4 classes, I am in LOVE with this practice. It's the first thing that has ever made me sweat so much!

My first love is Vinyasa; I love the creativity of the yoga-dance in my classes. The movement, the breath, the organic way each class flows. I will always practice this style because it speaks to my heart. But I have to say, from a yogic perspective, try it all and mix and mingle. It's the only way to really live life full out.

We yogis are a community of individuals - deep down, wanting to change the world and raise the consciousness of its inhabitants. Why hold ourselves to one teacher and one style? Don't you think we could make more change with more of us in one corner!?

And what about a hot that's what I'm talking about!!!!

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