I haven’t done more than 30ish minutes of yoga since the last class I went to with @AmandaUtterback , and that was at least May if not earlier than that. I have tried all kinds of DVDs and other self-practice and been unsuccessful at going through the whole practice.
Today, thanks to coffeeandyoga.tumblr.com’s August Yoga Challenge, I not only did 1 hour but was able to continue stretching and meditating through an extra 30 minutes. I used a DVD I’ve owned for almost a year (and only gone all the way through maybe ten times): Seane Corn’s Yoga From the Heart. She is very mystical and talks a lot about yoga as ritual, as spiritual AND physical practice. I find it helpful to alternatively focus on my body and my spirit. When my body is completely fatigued (as when we’re on our tenth suryanamaskara or sun salutation), she instructs us to dedicate our practice to a loved one and guide, a child, and someone who has hurt us (in turn) in order to honor, fight for, and forgive. Hers is a healing practice and it is very moving spiritually.
At one point, Seane makes a statement that I carry with me but need to be reminded of often. She says, “we are not these bodies, we are not the jobs we have, or the money we make, or the relationships we think we’re in control of. You are purely and infinitely a child of Spirit.” That means the world to me.
Also, my right knee, which hurts me a lot at times and probably has some type of muscular issue, feels amazing right now after a meditative pose on my knees, and the virabhadrasanas or warrior series. I discovered last year in my yoga class for PE at university that my back is completely flexible enough to do chakra-asana or wheel, but that I don’t trust my arms or wrists to get into the pose slowly and with purpose. Most often I’ll raise up onto the crown of my head and my feet but not go much farther. Today I successfully performed wheel twice (out of three opportunities).
My body feels amazing, my spirit feels settled, my mind feels focused. I am not my body, but I love my body - curves and all. I am not my job, but I love my job - even when my cell phone rings on Saturday after 5:00. I am not in control of my relationship, but I love and am thankful for it - even when I don’t know exactly how it will all turn out. And my spirit is flourishing from crown to sole.
Thank you for the challenge.
May I be back here tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.