Lessons from Yoga #1

I like yoga, the heritage, the mindset and the goals.  I like the method to; creating self development, that deep sense of relaxation and the physical sensations in the body.

All of that though doesn’t make me technically that good at it.  This is perhaps why I like it the most – it makes you a student again, challenging that very adult notion we know it all.  Consiously opening yourself up to new ways of thinking and being – as well as knowledge and chance to grow.

As yoga’s student its taught me a few broader lessons;

  • Stretching – if you can’t feel it then you’re not pushing far enough.  Equally though if its hurting then you’re stretching too much and should probably tone it down
  • Time – somethings are done fast and some slow.  Nothing is ever rushed though.  Rushing misses the point.
  • Breathing – we do it all the time to live but do we use it? Flowing actions with the breath, and breathing fully with all our chest rather than a tiny bit.
  • Tension – well, the lack of it.  Being tense holds us back from doing the full posture.  It restricts us from using our body and self to their fullest.
  • Making progress, not winning – it would be nice to do the highest form of a pose instantly but sometimes you can’t.  Sometimes it’s literally bad for your health to go all out.  Progressing at a healthy pace, building upto the end result is what its about.  The purpose and joy would be lost with instant mastery, and mastery itself would hold no value.
  • Making space – we have to make space for new experiences and growth to find a place.  Otherwise we’ll never fit them in.

Yoga has a lot more to teach me, and my body has some way to becoming the optimum vehicle.  Yoga though feels like a way of living well, with an eye on higher aims.

I am student again, although in reality and life when are we not?

David James Horn ©