This is the first time in this challenge that I am writing a post in advance. While it would be great to have been able to write after each class, I want to make sure a post goes up each day of the challenge but I’m headed out ski touring until Sunday evening.
So, I won’t be practising yoga on Day 29, unless I can fit in a session high up on the Wapta Icefield at Bow Hut. I have been known to pull a Downward Dog or two in the most random places. It feels pretty nice to stretch out the kinks after a long, hard day out skiing with an overnight pack.
Lately, I’ve been really intentional about bringing particular lessons into my practise. So, because I can’t write about the class and lessons from Day 29, let me tell you what I’d be bringing into my practise on Day 29.
Lesson from Day 29
1. Not to stop in Upper Plank in my Sun Salutations. I learned this from an instructor about a week ago and it has changed my practise completely. Yoga is often taught with a pause in Upper Plank before lowering in Chataranga Dandasana. Ever since I started flowing directly into Chataranga, whether back from a forward fold or in a Vinyasa, I can’t really explain it, but everything in yoga seems stronger and more fluid.
2. To really use my breath as an indication of how far I can push in each posture. If I find it difficult to maintain my breath, to lay off a little or change the posture slightly. If my body is feeling really open, I often have less challenging my breath.
3. Open my mind to the possibilities of yoga. I was reading yesterday in Meditations from the Mat (pg. 270) about how yoga is “a program of forced integration.” So often our minds are disconnected from our bodies and “souls are disconnected from our hearts,” the book says. This is why some people have found dramatic healing in yoga. It forces those aspects of ourselves to come together as an “integrated whole.” This has been important to my practise. Whatever ailments or injuries are bothering me, yoga won’t be a healing force if my mind isn’t open to that possibility.
© Meghan J. Ward, 2011.