A few months ago, I had a medical assessment that included a fitness portion. It required me to stand barefoot on what looked like a scale, however this contraption measured body fat.
Once completed, I proceeded to put my socks and running shoes on while standing. I pulled my socks over each foot one at a time extending the lifted leg long in front of me and the standing foot rooted to the ground, I repeated this process while putting on my running shoes. I then tied the laces on my right foot (while lifted) and then on my left (while lifted) all in a standing balance position. No walls or chairs to hold on to. I put my socks and shoes on in this fashion out of the mere attempt to preserve my dignity. I simply did not feel comfortable bending forward or kneeling down to do the simple task of tying my shoes while having someone standing behind me. Much to my surprise, I did not realize that there was a small audience down the hall witnessing this exercise. The whole interaction between myself and those around me was very innocent. I heard a voice call out, “That was impressive, I hope that I am not asked to do that by my practitioner!”. A burst of laughter followed. The whole event was simply yoga off the mat and out into daily life.
Sometimes while in our yoga class, on the days that I find myself to be a bit more tippy and topsy turvy in our standing poses, or a little more challenged in poses that I have done hundreds or thousands of times, I think to myself, “Strange, why the struggle today? You’ve done this so many times, should you not have gotten this by now?” I gently bring myself back, remind myself again and again the grace and the sweetness of putting on a pair of socks and tying my shoes. Reminding myself this is just a practice. We are practising yoga, exploring the body in relation to our world, breathing into the body, and grounding into the earth. In pure simplicity, this is why I practise yoga.
I am very appreciative of all the various modalities of yoga I have encountered over the 28 years of my yoga journey. They were important and necessary experiences and only part of the pieces to the puzzle. I have found the approach to yoga offered at the Studio is key to the overall longevity of physical health and mental wellbeing. The approach to the postures is taught for the benefit and health of the body in a manner that allows the body to release tension gently and with ease, physically, mentally, emotionally on all levels. More profoundly though, this expression of practice encourages, gives permission and allows space for each and every practitioner to go within at their own pace, in the personal space of their own mat without judgement, respecting the individual and recognizing that each and every “Body”, is unique with its own history, its own story, its own individual and personal journey. We are all yoga practitioners, all on our own respected paths together.
With gratitude to Tama, Monica, Mar Jean, Paola and all those who periodically make guest appearances via workshops – thanks for your continuous generosity in sharing all of your gifts. The decades of experience and knowledge are evident. Teaching from a place of real compassion and loving kindness. Daring to be different and offering practices that are true.