I haven’t been teaching for very long and, to be honest, I haven’t been practicing for much longer. Let’s just say that my journey with yoga began a little over 4 years ago. In yoga practice years, I’m just a toddler.
There are so many types of yoga practices but for the time being, I feel most comfortable within an asana practice. It’s where I can move freely, create and most importantly ‘find my breath.’ That wasn’t always the case though. I’m sure many of you know Marie-Claire, a Luna Yoga alumni who taught here not too long ago. When I started at Luna, I was the receptionist for her noon class. She was teaching a Flo 2 at the time and I was just beginning. I didn’t even know the different between a Warrior 1, Warrior 2 and a Warrior 3. I couldn’t do a proper chaturanga and when she cued the ‘exhale’ I constantly found myself holding my breath while Jason let out a smooth exhale one mat over.
There was one class that I’ll never forget though. It was maybe 6 weeks into my newfound ‘hobby.’ I was in Marie-Claire’s class and she had us in what I now remember to be a very uncomfortable bind and hip opener. It was quite the advanced posture and my body and breath might not have been ready to go so deep now that I think about it. She held us there for a few breaths cueing our inhales and exhales reminding us to ‘breathe’ but all I can remember was silently repeating curse words in my head. I was having a silent conversation with Marie-Claire asking: “Have YOU tried holding this pose and breathing at the same time? PUH-lease!” As though she could hear me, she responded to the entire class with: “Remember that as uncomfortable as this pose might be for you, the moment won’t last much longer.”
After that, I let go. I readjusted so I could feel and connect to my breath. Since then, every class became a constant practice of reminding myself that every uncomfortable moment wouldn’t last much longer. It’s just one moment in time.
The key to my practice since has been to take things step by step. Whether it’s on my mat or in my day to day activities, if anything comes up where I feel challenged or uncomfortable, I remind myself that the small steps really will be beneficial in the long run. This thought is something that has guided my practice and allowed me to go deeper into advanced postures. I don’t practice advanced postures every day, but I do take the smaller steps to get there. Whenever something feels uncomfortable or stifles my breath, I readjust, I take a step back. This is something I hope to share with everyone when I teach. It’s never about making it look pretty or about reaching that final goal. It’s SO much more about your journey there.
If you’ve been wanting to venture into advanced postures but don’t have the tools, you can definitely come try out my workshop on October 27th. We’ll be working towards some postures by breaking them down step by step. See you then!