This is a Guest Post by Jennifer Schmid (www.jenniferschmid.com) who used to practice at Main Street Yoga before moving to California 2 years ago. While she was here, we taught a 6-Week Yoga for Weight Loss session, which I have to say, was one of the absolute highlights of my collaborative teaching experiences. Jennifer did the “diet and nutrition” part of the course, and I did the yoga. I wish to this day she would make her handouts for that class into a book!
I opened my inbox this morning to find this“Comment” under my post yesterday called “Getting Good At Yoga.” I have been loving ALL the comments from the “Virtual Challengers” this month (and you too, Archan!) but this one seemed especially juicy, and rich, and deserving of the spotlight.
I’ve definitely noticed a change in my yoga, particularly in the poses that challenged me most intensely — 3-legged Dog, Pigeon, Frog, Bridge, Camel (finally got it last night. Yay!). I don’t look like a protege of Rodney Yee, nor do I want to. But I *like* the poses now. I absolutely struggle (and I’m sure I look silly), but I have gotten to the point where I’m starting to soften what needs to soften, and activate what needs to be activated, and I can still breathe (barely).
This is especially true with Pigeon. I guess I’ve always “liked” Pigeon, but it wasn’t until I decided to make it my “must do everyday” pose that I started to see a shift. Finally, after the 7th day or so, I softened. I walked out my back toes just a hair. I breathed. I found the bandhas. Yeah, baby.
More importantly, though, is how my yoga has changed me on the inside. I’m not taking things as personally. (This is huge; I was born under a Cancer sun and moon, and sensitivity is my specialty.) I’m setting boundaries and not taking on everyone else’s s#!t. I’m figuring out what the heck I want in this life. I’m more intuitive. And my heart is opening, thanks to all those hip-openers and back bends.
When I finally got to my yoga last night (day 28, whoo hoo), I was thinking about why all of those changes have been taking place, wondering how yoga makes that possible. It came to me during Happy Baby. I was imagining Brynne in her Happy Baby (thank you, Brynne).
When we do yoga, we’re opening our chakras. We’re letting in the light to those very special centers of our being. Happy Baby opens our first chakra; Mountain pose opens many, but especially our crown (7) and third eye (6). Back bends are particularly important for our hearts and emotions. It’s impossible to do a back bend while closing off your heart — you have to be open.
Kath, can you imagine facilitating a workshop called “Chakra yoga”? 15 minutes of gentle centering, then some writing about areas in one’s life where one struggles (this doesn’t have to be shared, can just be for self-exploration). Next comes a workshop on the chakras and their meaning (including a little centering to “feel” each one), then 60-75 minutes of yoga, exploring which chakras one feels opening during each pose, followed by a long savasana… I get tingly just thinking about it.
Lastly, because I’m sure everyone is wondering how much coffee I’ve had this morning (for the record, none, just yoga, green tea, and the energy that comes with life’s uncertainties), I was wishing in my practice last night that there was a “moon salutation,” because it didn’t feel right to be doing suns at 10pm. I just Googled it — there are a couple different ones, but I really like the one that was put together at Kripalu. (check out http://www.lauracornell.com/moon.html) Kath, we’ll have to do this under the full moon. 🙂 (At Fred’s, maybe? Think he’d go for that?)
**note:** I recently ran a 6 Week Chakra Yoga session at the studio that didn’t follow that exact format, but was really well-received!! And yes, I do think Fred would go for that!