Friday, February 24, 2012

Yoga Day 24

"Do your practice and all is coming"       - Sri K Patthabi Jois

I am now on Day 24 of my Yoga in February month. I have practiced yoga every day with 5 or 6 days per week in the studio, then 1 or 2 days per week at home.

There is something in the daily discipline of the practice that inspires me. I think the daily routine heightens my attention to the project and commands more of my focus. 

Have I mentioned how much I love yoga?!

Lessons learned so far...
I thought yoga would be a set of poses that would focus on stillness and flexibility.
Turns out, this is just one small part of the yoga experience. There is large part of the practice dedicated to movement - deliberate and challenging. While flexibility helps with some of the poses, it isn't necessary to start. I am the least flexible person I know, yet I still benefit from the practice and my flexibility is already improving.

I imagined my mind would wander, much like my previous failed attempts at meditation.
Turns out, the practice requires full attention and focus, so my mind is clear and clarity comes much easier.

I thought it would only benefit me physically in terms of adding stretching to my routine.
Turns out, yoga practice is extremely challenging and will (and has already) helped improve my endurance and strength. The pace at times seems like cardio and the weight bearing poses are more strenuous than some weight lifting I've tried in the past. If the excessive sweating, sore muscles, and pleasant exhaustion are indicators, then my entire body is benefiting from these sessions.

I thought yoga with heat (the beginner class is at 93 degrees, the next class up add another ten degrees or more) would be miserable.
The heat of the room, and generated by my energy and breathing, is cathartic, healing, and invigorating. 

So yoga is full of surprises, and I'm thankful for this month of discovery! 

"Tapas-- Burning Enthusiasm. Literally translated as "fire" or "heat", tapas is the disciplined use of our energy. Because the word discipline has the negative connotation of self-coercison, I take the liberty here of translating this central precept as "burning enthusiasm." when we can generate an attitude of burning ardor, the strength of our convictions generates a momentum that carries us forward." 
     - Farhi

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