This week we were asked to team teach two fifteen minute sequences of standing and balancing poses. Both times, my partners and I tried to insert standing poses like the wide legged forward bend, trikonasona, extended side angle and the pyramid (or balancing poses like tree, dancer, half moon) smoothly into a sequence. Small moves like turning the direction of our toes and gaze or stepping back or front became crucial components of a fluid transition. When leading the class, it felt like I was stuttering, as if the mind, body and breathing has yet to learn a new combined language. I have a new appreciation for all those soothing and calmed voiced yoga instructors out there. Making anything seem effortless takes a whole lot of effort!
Betsy lead us through a Hot Progressive Yoga session. It was a combination of challenging poses and ease that builds in intensity through the session. Despite the intensity and sweat, the session did not conjure feelings of athletic breathless panting. I suppose this was my lesson for the week on and off the mat: to keep my breath steady regardless of ease and effort (and to focus on breathing and cue breathing when teaching).
At my third week of regular yoga practice, I do feel more grounded and grateful. I’m more aware of tight muscles and flexible muscles. I feel increased body awareness and am beginning to understand yoga instructions to “connect with your breath,” “ground through your feet,” “stack your hips” etc,. I’m discovering new questions like why is balancing with closed eyes harder? May that be a metaphor for something? I also continue to be amazed by my fellow yogis. What a combination of intelligence, kindness and grace! I am so lucky to breathe and flow with this inclusive and wonderful little community.
Oh….and we had our first test. It was a good reminder of all that we have learned already. And, of course of things we need to notice as important to remember.
It was a good week. We are no longer strangers. Wherever we started we have all started to deepen our practice.
This week’s yogi snack…dear readers I would love suggestions. What do you like to eat before or after practice? Vegan, vegetarian and/or gluten free options seem difficult to make portable and share-able. Thoughts? Any cook book recommendations out there?
Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar
Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla, granola, jelly
1. Beat egg and sugar together.
2. Mix in peanut butter.
3. Drop tablespoons of dough. Flatten. Makes about 12-15 cookies.
4. Bake 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.
Cool completely before enjoying!
Recipe from Food Network, Damaris Phillips.
Yoga Elephant image from: https://www.pinterest.com/jenhaussmann/yoga/