lighten up

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Yogi Katie getting her Corona-asana on.

Today, I looked around class during a particularly long crescent lunge twist. The girls next to me looked as if she was going to cry. The girl next to her looked like she was focusing so hard her head might explode. The front row was dominated by jaw clenched, tensed up, frustrated looking yogis. This is no good.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with having a focused, dedicated practice.There will always be days when the energy in a class is heavy and feels like it’s dragging along. But in general, I feel most of us take ourselves just a little too seriously when it comes to our yoga.

I could go on a rant (but I won’t) solely about men in hot yoga. I, for the most part, hate being next to men. They grunt, squint, scrunch their faces up and clench their teeth. Many men, including most of my male friends, refuse to modify. Maybe it’s an ego thing. But that’s all I’m saying about that. I’m done.

So how can we lighten up?

Soften your face, attempt a smile. When a song comes on that you like, when a favorite pose feels particularly nice, when a flow just feels really damn good. During tougher poses, try to relax your face so you can use your energy where you need it.

Breathe deeply, intentionally. Shallow breaths are for runners. In yoga our breath demands our attention, make each and every one count.

Check your ego at the door. Yoga is not a competition, it’s for you and you only. The only person you need compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday. Listen to your body, if you want a child’s pose, take a god damn child’s pose! You can seriously hurt yourself if you push your body too far or too quickly into a pose.

Wobble. Everyone wobbles, everyone falls.

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4 thoughts on “lighten up

  1. So true! Squeezing all the facial muscles just shows that the student is struggling with the posture and should probably take a step back. You know you’re mastering an asana if the face remains totally relaxed. But then telling students to take it slowly isn’t well received by some… Great post!

  2. Mick Feeble says:

    sti- when are you going to practice next to me! 😉

words

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