What’s easier to master, yoga phrases or yoga poses?
After years of trying to become a yogi, I’ve come to the conclusion that I am a seasonal, not full-time yogi. Unlike running, where if I haven’t run for a while, my body yearns for it, I can do yoga every day for a month, suddenly stop and come back to it weeks or months later. It’s no yearning, just a mood. This is probably why I’ll never progress to an unassisted handstand and why my crow never seems to take off for more than a split second. I’ve become ok with that. Yoga for me has become more of a stretch routine and less of a pursuit of poses.
Currently I’m in a yoga moment. I’ve been in one since lockdown began, which is ironic as before I much preferred going to classes, getting teacher input and could not commit to an at-home practice. Yet here I am 5 months later, happily practicing yoga at home. That’s 2020 for you. I am doing trainer led classes, but the sessions are short – anywhere from just 10 minutes to a rare 45 minutes. Considerably shorter than the hour-long classes I once frequented.
They’ve become a marker of the end of the workday. A way in which to split working hours from personal hours in a time when everything has become blended and my home has become my world. I would like to think my poses are becoming better but without a teacher adjusting me and telling me where I’m going wrong, it’s hard to tell.
I like the way my body feels when it is being stretched out. I imagine my fascia thinning as it gets stretched and then snapping back into place, settling around my muscles more relaxed, less sticky. I think of what Alon told me during my body balance sessions – to introduce different movements into your body throughout the day – not to get stuck performing the same movements day in, day out but allowing other muscles work and stretch. Yoga allows me to stretch out my muscles after hours of sitting in front of a computer and move in a way that’s different, slower and more relaxed to the cardio and strength workouts I do.
In the years I’ve been doing yoga, phrases keep popping up that leave me befuzzled. They must be a part of every yoga training course, as they seem to be used by all teachers no matter where you are. Always said in the same gentle tone, like it’s a suggestion not a command.
Sit in Your Body
Am I not always sitting in my body?
If something comes Up for you
It’s always in the emotional tense, usually after inversions. They say having your head below your heart can stir up emotions, almost like those emotions suddenly spill out your heart and into your head when you turn yourself upside down. I’ve yet to be overcome with emotion during or after yoga and wonder what emotional cleansing I’m missing out on. The only thing that comes up for me is tightness or the fact that I still can’t do a handstand, which may be something I’m holding onto that has yet to be released.
Breathe into the tightness
Granted I’m beginning to get this more – the idea that to release tension you need to breathe and not hold your breath, which seems to be the natural reflex. However, that magical loosening, that breathing that releases tightness and opens you up I’ve heard about, is something I’m still waiting for. I once overheard a lady at a yoga class saying how one day during pigeon pose she just breathed into the tightness and something just clicked and her hips loosened up. As someone with perpetually tight hips I think about that a lot and how wonderful that must’ve felt.
Let the energy shoot out
I imagine sparks flying out of my toes but feel nothing. How does one mentally shoot energy out of ones fingertips, toes and tailbone?
What’s yoga phrases confuse you?
Zissy is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to make things, do things and wear things.