The hardest part is getting started.
This morning I intended to run.
I often have to outsmart myself—ensure that I have a limited time to run so that I have to keep going or risk being late for a subsequent appointment. Today I hadn’t been quite so nefarious; I had to take one step at a time: put on running clothes, dilly dally. Put on sneakers. Check Facebook. Eventually, I made it out the door.
As I ran I came into myself gradually. My thoughts were more coherent, my motivations clarified and my body invigorated. So much of yoga practice happens exactly the same way. In any given yoga practice, we encounter challenge.
A good teacher offers another way in.
This past year I taught a five-day intensive moving towards scorpion pose.
Each day we approached the pose differently, which enabled me to cull lessons from all the wonderful teachers I’ve been privileged to learn from.
One day we worked standing balance poses that informed how to use strong, steady legs to lengthen spine. Another day we opened into a series of backbends that presented the possibility of toes and the crowns of heads meeting.
Later in the week an explosion of inversions shifted perspective of ourselves in space as well as what’s possible.
All we need is access, an entry point.
A Buddhist once told me that he believed in a meditated space. He told me that none of us meditate as a verb. Rather, we move gradually and purposefully towards that parallel space.
We cultivate these various practices of mantra, moving the physical body in yoga asana, breath work or pranayama, and whatever approach speaks to us to draw nearer that meditated space. While yoga asana runs the gamut of approaches from Yin to Ashtanga to Forrest-vinyasa, each practice mandates savasana.
Various styles all lead to the same point of convergence.
Recently, I was getting some work done in one of the studios where I teach. A neighbor wandered in and asked if we too had experienced bored teenagers banging on our windows. We had.
Through the course of our conversation his eyes wandered through the space, towards mats, props and murals adorning the wall.
It became apparent he’d been curious about a yoga studio for some time now.
He just needed a way in.
Passionate about healthy bodies, relationships, & communities, Maiga Milbourne E-RYT teaches vinyasa yoga to groups and individuals. Yoga offers so much to each student: physical health, mental well-being, ease, & community. In reflection of the broad benefits of yoga, Maiga has created a range of services to provide to her clients, all seeking to help each one realize their fullest potential. Learn more at maigamilbourne.com.
Editor: ShaMecha Simms