Part of the philosophy of yoga is that we can't always change the world around us. No matter what we do, bad things will happen and stressful situations will arise. The only thing we have control over—the only thing we can change—is ourselves. We can decide how to react to situations that challenge us. Will we allow them to throw us off center, or will we take them in stride?
Yoga teaches us how to respond to stress patiently. We must experience the physical challenge of the postures without fear, and use deep, calm breaths to move through them. If we can take that lesson off the mat and into our daily lives, we will move closer to the goal of responding to stress in a careful and considered way.
June 22, 2010
I got the blues
I got the my-teachers-outta-town-and-she-left-us-with-a-substitute blues.
Yogini Elka was taking her mother to the airport this afternoon and in her place was a self-proclaimed "Vinyasa flow teacher" who "wasn't sure what to teach us lowly Gentle Yoga folk" (in so many words.) After this introduction I wasn't thrilled for the next hour in change, but as all sub'd classes and other sticky situations go, I ended up learning something* (other than NOT to announce to the class the limited little box you have squeezed yourself into.)
As we were creating asanas against the wall- trikonasana (triangle) and ardha chandrasana (half moon)- the unnamed alternate would cue us to step away and "test our balance" or we could stay against the wall where the pose was "easier than what she usually does in her regular class" (gag me.) I couldn't help but smile thinking with my elevated foot pressing into the wall what an amazing stretch I was getting, how the pressure was aligning me in a way the made the pose deeper and more demanding than any of the hundreds of times I've floated into ardha chandrasana in the middle of various yoga studio floors. The wall was not merely supporting me to go further, but literally pushing me to.
Take my word for it? I certainly hope not! Test it out for yourself. Test everything out for yourself. Then ask, but don't tell, how does it feel? Where do you feel it? What if you do this? Why not do that?
Try the varieties that make the spice of life and be the critic. Create your own Zagat's, Yelp, and Top Tens and watch them grow and transform as you age and experience.
Ceaselessly experiment, taste test, and step out of your comfort zone.
This weekend J made his long-distance fascination with Sailing an up-close reality by going out into our bay on a Sunfish... learning the ropes of what I can see is in the wind of becoming a great love. At the top is the view of the city of San Diego, 8th largest U.S. City in population, via not only J's boat, but our amazing little villa.
*Subbing is a difficult position to be in, human nature dictates that already the class hates you and you have to work extra for their respect and adoration. I have subbed many-a-class myself (even known as the go-to or perpetual subber in Aspen) and have every ounce of respect for teachers willing to take on the hairy task. If you know your teacher is going to be absent COME TO CLASS ANYWAYS you may find a new favorite person you would have never met or realize why you love who/what you love and never take her/him/it for granted again! Win-win.