The Gift of Yoga (Yoga Challenge: Day 11)

One thing I never considered before going into this yoga challenge is that I wouldn’t always be able to choose my classes.

When I go 2-3 times a week, I can generally choose which class I want to go to based on how I feel and what mood I’m in. Each instructor offers a different kind of class, even if the “style” is the same. For instance, a Flow class can be slow and meditative, fast-paced, playful or physically challenging.

But when you are going 30 days in a row, you can’t always choose which class you want to go to. I’m trying to fit these classes into my work week and some days there’s only one I can go to. This removes an element of control I have over my mental state going into my yoga practise each day and it has been a rather strange experience.

Lesson from Day 11

I say “strange experience” because this has taught me something new about the yoga practise that I didn’t expect to learn. Many people, including myself, can be real consumers when it comes to practising yoga. I’m not talking about the competing yoga apparel brands (though that definitely plays a role here). What I’m talking about is this: Sometimes I go to a class because I feel like it and I need it. I like that instructor and their style suits me today.

See the problem here?

It’s too much about me. Simply going every day to whatever class is available to me has taught me to go in with an open mind and ready to gratefully receive whatever my practise will bring me that day.

In that way, yoga is an incredible gift. It’s not something that we should be consuming like a chocolate bar. But I deserve to be eating this chocolate bar after the hard day I’ve had. It just tastes so good! Yes, it does. But receive it like a gift that you didn’t expect and didn’t deserve.

It will be that much sweeter.

© Meghan J. Ward, 2011.

1 Month Away from Costa Rica

I am just about 1 month away from Costa Rica, where I will be travelling for three weeks and hopefully getting a ton of inspiration from the local scene and my experiences there!

Flying into Antigua - January 2008

Flying into Antigua - January 2008

A few articles are in the works, but mostly I am excited to just go and see what comes of the trip. Any travelling I have done before has taught me that my judgements of a place are usually wrong. I have learned not to set expectations so that I cannot be disappointed. Likewise, I have learned not to assume how things will be or what it will be like – just live it in the moment and be open to surprises!

So far the plans have time in the capital, San Jose, a few days checking out the biodiversity down on the Osa Peninsula, a climb up Cerro Chirripo, adventures in La Fortuna and Monteverde and, finally, a yoga retreat in Santa Teresa. That should give me lots to write about. It’s a tough life, sometimes, having to put paper to pen whilst swinging in a hammock overlooking the Pacific. Needless to say, I am very excited.