Cultivating my personal practice.
I am a yoga teacher who always attended group yoga classes on a regular basis, both before teacher training, during teacher training, and continuing up until several months ago, probably a total of 10+ years. This was a great way to begin my yoga journey as I have been honored to have had a number of very wise and experienced yoga teachers to learn from.
With that said, it became a pivotal time in my life to embrace and trust the wisdom of my inner teacher.
I made a move from Chandler, AZ to Fort Collins, CO, a move that was most welcomed but nevertheless, a big change in my life. I found a job teaching a yoga flow class, doing some workshops, and also found some classes to attend. Then I experienced a few injuries and stopped going to classes. Thus began my journey towards embracing my own inner wisdom and also the collective wisdom of all my former teachers.
I actually designed my own rehabilitation program to heal my body, not only physically but on a much deeper emotional and energetic level. I began to trust my own intuition, to discover that my inner teacher knew my body better than anyone else and could tune into what works for me and what doesn’t work for me. It was very liberating and joyful to witness my body healing on all levels and to evolve my practice in a way that I hadn’t done before.
I discovered there were many gifts to listening and trusting my inner teacher including:
1. I could work on asanas that were particularly challenging to me and observe in a non-judgemental way how my body was progressing and evolving in it’s own way with each of these poses.
2. I learned that it was okay to not push myself to do a particular pose if it didn’t feel “right” on any certain day. Some days certain poses feel so good and on other days, they don’t, and that is just fine.
3. I could work on core and upper body strength and it was amazing to witness the progress my body was making.
4. This was MY practice where I took responsibility to honor my body and to work at a pace that was best for me, which was very freeing.
5. I have become more creative with sequencing the classes I teach. This was my own creativity and not someone else’s.
6. I embrace pranayama practice more than I have done in the past. I learned what a gift it is just to breathe!
7. I have become more disciplined with my personal practice as it is very easy to be distracted by other items that needed to be attended to at my home. The hour plus that I set aside each day for my practice has been such a gift and I honor that time for me.
8. My practice area is surrounded by windows and the natural outdoor setting where my home is located. My “classmates” are the squirrels and birds that come to my backyard feeders. This gives me a sense of peace and Oneness with the world around me.
9. I keep discovering more and more benefits of my inner teacher.
Will I go back to group classes? Yes, when the time is right.
For now I am most grateful for this particular time in my life, to tune into my own inner wisdom and allow my practice to unfold in a way that feels authentic to me, to live my yoga both on and off the mat as I take these lessons with me into my everyday life.
The greatest gift of this time alone, this time to access my inner wisdom, went much deeper than my physical practice.
This was a time for me to gain more clarity to what truly resonates with me at this time in my life, to get a sense of my dharma, or purpose in life. The solitude took me to my innermost dreams, desires, intentions and strengthened me on all levels. It is only when we listen to our inner voice that we gain insights, deepen our spiritual connections, and expand our heart center.
It was most appropriate that I connected to the seasons of the year, fall and winter where we go inward to plant the seeds that will sprout in the spring of the year. So now as the season of spring arrives, I feel the rebirth, new life, and infinite possibilities of this time of year and I am most grateful to connect to that part of me that is the highest expression of my being.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Kimby Maxson / Editor:
Photo: Sunchild 123 at Flickr