Thursday evenings represent these good things for me: freshly laundered clothes and linens, the eve of another long-awaited weekend, and an hour of vinyasa. Having committed to yoga for just over a month (though, admittedly, my goal for this next month is not yet panning out), I've already learned quite a bit, and about myself. Today, as I look forward to tonight's class, I wanted to reflect on some of what doing yoga has taught me.
To look inward. Being an educator, I spend most of my day focusing on others and my environment and surroundings. Yoga gives me the time and space to check in with myself and my own state/wellbeing. This was challenging for me in the States where I hadn't found an instructor who instructed--repositioning poses and developing understanding of how poses should feel--and felt self-conscious about, and even intimidated by, the 'type' of people who do yoga. It's funny, but I find myself less aware of external factors in a foreign country and in a different language.
That I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. Literally. The two poses I consistently struggle with are butterfly and downward dog, which is almost entirely due to me overcompensating in other areas of my body rather than relieving the weight and tension in my shoulders. Which leads me to number three...
The importance of good posture. Gone are my flute-playing days, and with them my posture, so it seems. Practicing good posture is benefitting my physical awareness and health, incrementally increasing my confidence, and allowing me to breathe more fully and deeply and feel, literally, less in a slump. This is one good habit that I am consciously and intentionally practicing and hoping to develop into a norm.