Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that's why they call it present...

Monday, February 22, 2010

From Fear to Freedom

Another 26 hours of yoga, spread out along 4 amazing heart opening days. We’re getting into learning about the postures now. The names, general form, actions, tendencies, modifications, use of props, focal point…etc. This is very interesting, and I never actually thought of all the work that goes into one pose. We’re not learning them so we can get them “right” it’s learning them so you can get the most out of them, and yourself…then ultimately, your students if you decide to take that route. I already know I want to teach. I’ve always been the “teacher” type. I really enjoy assisting people in reaching their goals, fight through something, or just feel great. I have noticed I need to slow down when it comes to teaching. In yoga it’s about them, not me, so first I need to watch and listen before I can run in and try to “fix” something I think needs fixing.

Both Saturday and Sunday we started the days with a 4 hour yoga class. I’m going to be honest. I was nervous. I knew inside I could do it…I guess I didn’t believe in my body that much. It was intense to say the least, but WOW what an experience! We concentrated a lot on back bends and inversions this weekend. These two are very similar, because once you go into a back bend, you’re actually inverted. I learned something about myself. I am terrified of inversions, but LOVE and shine when doing back bends.
We had to come to the wall and start in down dog. Up onto our tippy toes, and walk them in as close as possible without loosing the integration of our shoulders onto our backs, and arms straight. Then with one leg up, kick with reach the wall behind us. I actually started to shake! I tried a few times and was loosing my breath. Probably because I was in so much fear, I forgot to breath. I haven’t been in this place for a long time. We were in a regular temperature room…and I was dripping with sweat…and tears.
When I was little I use to do hand stands ALL the time. NO FEAR! I would come up, drop back into wheel, and sometimes I wouldn’t, I would just fall and get the wind knocked out of me. Still, I took a deep breath and started again. I don’t know what changed…it sucks that growing up will do that to you.
We had to also do this with partners, who after a while made me more comfortable, and I was able to do it with someone standing behind me catching me. I was happy I made it up, but still discouraged I couldn’t make it up on my own. Why couldn’t I surrender?

When something in your life isn’t going the way you want it to, do you come out of it? OR do you come out of it, to get into it?
Don’t become your reaction.
Anytime you loose power in a situation, you’ve stopped looking at it from a symbolic point of view.
Can you just be OK with the situation at hand?
Recognize where you choose contraction over reaction.
The more you’re able to surrender, the more you’re able to open yourself to new possibilities.

Sunday was exciting. We were all pretty sore…but KNEW we could do more. It’s a different feeling than “gym” sore. My body felt electric and ready…willing! I knew today would be different.

Before anyone got to the studio, I was sitting there (I was early…no big surprise) thinking about the previous days. Grant, one of my teachers and not to mention one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met walked in. We talked a bit, and while I was stretching, getting ready to practice, he started his yoga practice. Watching him was incredible. Here he is, SO strong, but he moved so effortlessly, so fluently, so gracefully, almost as if there was no gravity in the room at all. He actually floated between poses, to the point where I was in a trance watching him. I believe I was suppose to watch him that day…I finally understood something that Colin’s been trying to teach me. Grant is a very strong man, but not like a body builder. While I watched him float his legs to the front, hover then put them down. From down dog to forward fold. I noticed his entire body shaking with muscular energy, but he moved with such poise, and softness. I tried to remember that during my practice. I needed to stop being so hard, I needed that touch of feminine beauty, that softness, that sincere sensitivity back. It’s a work in progress.

Back to handstands, Colin announced. I could feel my heart start to close off, and tremble. I wanted this SO bad and I wouldn’t stop till I got it. I DID IT! FINALLY! It felt great. It was funny because as soon as I got it, Colin added a modification to deepen/harden the pose. I laughed, and enjoyed JUST the handstands a few more times. I did move on, which I was also proud of myself for doing.
We started to look into back bends like camel, wheel, hero, cobra, sphinx, and wild thing. I really enjoy these and feel I’m pretty good too. Colin asked for a friend to help him demonstrate coming into wheel. In front of everyone, with Colin simply holding both fists into my back to lengthen me, I came into wheel. What a rush!
I talked to one of my friends from class about why I love back bends. I told her I think it was because it had nothing to do with my feet. I didn’t have to even worry about them. She pointed out that it’s a very big heart opener. This is something I NEED since for the last while it’s been very closed off.
I would be interested to hear/research the different spiritual thoughts on why I am able to do back bends so easily, and not inversions?

After lunch on Sunday afternoon, Grant and Colin discussed a few that made the rooms energy change. For me, it was VERY emotional…and I wasn’t the only one. I’m not sure if they realized they had hit something so deep and touched everyone. Maybe it was the fact we were already so open and our ego’s had been stripped (in a good way) that it was easy for us to just LET GO! We took a while, and each of us took the time given to either write, meditate or just be. I used my time to write. There was so much I wanted to get out, but my pen just wasn’t moving. It took about 15 minutes before I could even touch the pen to the paper. This was very hard for me, as it touched a lot of scars. I feel now it was a weight off my shoulder, and something I NEEDED to move through to get further along. I still don’t know how…but Colin and Grant ALWAYS KNOW…

Every yoga weekend retreat that passed I say was my favorite, because they just keep getting better. This weekend was just different. It gets its own personal category.
Another thing that keeps getting better, the friendships! Especially during “Napasana” :)

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