Important Points To Remember

Don't force the body

Opening comes through relaxation

Surrender

Focus on healing

Armoring

Listen to the body

  • This style of yoga is not about making the body conform to the posture. It is about discovering how your body experiences the posture. Staying with a posture long enough to fully experience the sensations could open a new level of awareness. This truly is the opportunity and the challenge of yoga
     
  • Each posture changes our relationship to gravity. Each posture allows relaxation to open the body in a slightly different way. Each shift loosens, a little more, the inflexibility which limits our movements.
     
  • It is more important how the posture feels then what it looks like.
     
  • We want to find the place, in each pose, where we can relax and breath into the pose.
     
  • When we push we create resistance. We already have enough resistance in our lives. Resistance is painful, futile and debilitating.
     
  • Opening comes through relaxation.
     
  • Each posture enables us to focus our breath into a particular area of the body. The breath can enter areas that the stretch can not. The breath sets us free.
     
  • Our intention is to liberate and reclaim our body which is now possessed by stress.
     
  • Surrender is not giving up but rather letting go of our resistance to our own freedom and magnificence. Surrender is discovering our self. The self that resides beyond limitations and boundaries.
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  • Sometimes we move very slowly. So slowly that it seems irritating. That irritation is what is being released from our body by that slow movement. Similarly, postures we hold a long time can also be challenging because they also allow us to feel what is locked in our body. To be still long enough to feel can seem irritating or scary. It is the avoidance of feeling which keeps many of us in constant motion. What ever comes up, as we do yoga, is on its way out. Let it go. There is nothing that can come up, that we can't handle.
     
  • While our main focus is on the healing end of the yoga spectrum rather than the fitness end of the spectrum, we do place a large emphases on strength, alignment and posture.
     
  • Yoga only works when you do it. Consistent practice works best.
     
  • Armoring is the process of strengthening or guarding ourselves against the world. We do it physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. All aspects of ourselves are interconnected. As we armor physically we are also mentally, emotionally and spiritually affected. Many 'fitness' exercises create or compound our armoring. Many schools ( but no all) of Hatha yoga break down this armoring, moving us toward freedom. At times, as a layer of armoring melts away, we may feel weak or vulnerable for a time. Sometimes this feeling lasts for a while but in time a new strength comes forward from within. It is a much more powerful strength flowing from the core of our being, changing us. As we progress the time spent with feelings of vulnerability shortens. It is appropriate during this time to discuss these feelings with a yogi or yogini, perhaps your instructor.
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  • Listen to your body. When your body says "I've done enough." Come out of the pose. Don't wait to be told it's okay. If you are experiencing a good release and want to stay with the pose as the rest of the class moves on, stay with the pose until you are ready to move out of it.
     
  • If you release something and begin to cry stay with it. Feel free to role on your side and stay there and enjoy your cry. I always have tissues.
     
  • It is not unusual for it to take several months or more to slow down enough to begin to feel the depth of relaxation which is possible. It is at a deep level of relaxation where healing occurs.
     
  • If moving slowly with focus seems difficult; you are not alone. You could be feeling the irritation, which is stored in the muscles, as that irritation is released. Any e-motion stored in the muscles can be released. When this happens know it is on its way out. This is one way we experience our stress leaving our body. It could also be an opportunity to ask ourselves what we are attempting to avoid knowing about ourselves by always moving quickly. Slow intentional movement through the postures brings consciousness into our body and into our lives. It is not necessary to beat ourselves up to become strong.
     
  • Becoming more conscious can be fun. It is empowering.

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Webmaster:  Christine Lewis   xtine44@yahoo.com              Contact Judith:  (916) 721-6127            This site was updated on 03/17/2004.