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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Namaste

Ok, I know that Yoga is all about what's happening on your own mat. And I love that. I love Yoga. I've been practicing for a little over two years now. I'm getting better every week.

But sometimes I look around at other people while I'm practicing. Yes, it's wrong. I should not be concerned with what's happening off my mat. I just can't help it. I am intrigued to see how badly some people are doing. I've already shared this horrible bad habit with Kev, so now I'm not afraid to share it with the rest of the world.

I'm not really judging anyone who's doing Yoga, I'm just curious to observe people who are clueless. Yes, Yoga is hard. It takes a lot of concentration. It's not just stretching. I sweat when I practice. Like, dripping off the tip of my nose sweat. I bring a towel. Some of the other people really don't understand what they're doing. I don't understand it either. How do they look at the instructor, and look around at the veteran Yogis and think they're doing the same thing?

I'm not saying that everyone should be able to to Yoga to the same extent, but I am saying that when your spine is crunched up and you can't breathe, you might be doing something wrong. That's your clue to ask for some guidance. It's really ok. If you find your shoulders tucked into your ears, you're probably not doing the asana in the best way for your body. So adjust, please.

Sometimes I feel pain for those who are attempting to contort their bodies in ways their bodies do NOT want to contort. My advice? Don't push yourself so hard. Yoga's about breathing, not about reaching the asanas in the same capacity as the instructor.

Books I recommend to help you out:
Living Yoga by Christy Turlington
The Language of Yoga by Nicolai Bachman
Ashtanga Yoga by David Swenson
AND go to a class!! Talk to the instructor!! Get some advice!!

Now that I've shared, you're probably thinking you never want to go to a class with me. That's fine. But you may find that if you can let go of your pride and ask for advice during a class, you're going to get more out of it. Don't do Yoga for the sake of telling people you do Yoga, and so you can carry around your cute little mat.

Even though I have fun at practice, I really try to take it seriously. I refer to the books I've purchased, I use some crazy new-age videos from time to time, and I let my current instructor poke and prod and move my body around when she sees I'm not doing a pose to the best of my ability.

I really care about Yoga, and don't want it to be seen as just some passing trend. If you've ever heard of "Yoga the Musical," you know exactly what I'm talking about. The concept of Yoga America is not appealing.

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