Yoga with a budding yogini

March 20, 2011 § 13 Comments

My friend, V, is training to be a yoga instructor–she’s already a Level 1! And tonight, she led four of us through a “gentle yoga” (or “restorative yoga” or “yin yoga”) practice that she choreographed and set to music herself. It was both instructive, peaceful, and absolutely restorative.

I am so grateful to V for helping to recenter me. I have been out of my yoga practice since last August…which is embarrassing, considering how far I’d come since last February. Since I started practicing in 2004, I always come back to yoga at some time or other in my life. And, coincidentally, it seems to find me when I’m at my lowest, most stressful places. There’s a saying among the yoga practitioners that “yoga meets you where you are.” It does. It meets you when you are tired, sore, stiff. It meets you when you are stressed, sad, unmotivated. It meets you when you are flexible, energetic, centered. It meets you when you are calm, rested, happy.

Yoga meets you where you are, and you are left to answer: are you ready to meet yoga?

Thank you, V, for tonight’s practice. I needed it, and I’m confident I will be prepared for tomorrow’s demands.

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§ 13 Responses to Yoga with a budding yogini

  • amblerangel says:

    I’ve just started yoga- we’re wrestling with each other.

    • Mrs. H. says:

      Lol, I am so familiar with that feeling! The best thing I think you can do at this stage is to keep telling yourself (until you believe it) that you cannot compete with anyone else (even if it’s a DVD). Your body is a different shape, size–and I mean, in particular, that your torso is a different length, your arms and legs are different lengths–from the person demonstrating the poses and anyone else who may be practicing yoga with you. I’ll tell you, though, I found it extremely difficult to get to the point where I wasn’t competing or comparing myself with other people. Once I learned what the poses generally look like, I started closing my eyes, which helps keep me from looking at the other students. If you are practicing in a class, ask your instructor to keep an eye on you and offer suggestions for corrections and modifications.

      Bottom line: keep it up! πŸ™‚ Yoga will meet you where you are, even if you feel like you’re wrestling, hehe.

    • Tori Nelson says:

      DITTO. I was waiting on the Zen but The Warrior kicked my arse parts. Mrs. H, your restorative yoga sounds WAY better!

      • Mrs. H. says:

        Haha, Tori! When V first asked if she could host the yoga session at my house, I begged her not to include the Warrior sequence, lol.

  • I’m a yoga dropout (three times) but I’m in awe of yoga-types. They are privy to a world I can only imagine….

    • Mrs. H. says:

      I have some trouble with the more fitness/power-oriented yogas. I think that’s more related to my fitness level than anything else, though. Last year, V, A.Mo. (another friend of ours), and I went to an ashram in the Bahamas. (It sounds luxurious, but it wasn’t–it was a very traditional yoga retreat.) While I was there, I was really humbled by the visitors and residents who were utterly dedicated to their practice. They were much more interested in the religious aspect of yoga than the fitness aspect (which is where I am right now). It was beautiful and inspiring to be around them.

  • Lisa says:

    I think it is time I meet yoga for real.

    • Mrs. H. says:

      You really ought to. πŸ™‚ Although, I would strongly recommend taking a yoga class rather than starting with a DVD (unless you’ll be with someone who knows their thing about yoga and can help you out). There’s nothing worse than starting yoga without someone who can offer advice, corrections, and modifications specifically tailored to your body. Of the people who I’ve known to start yoga and quit, most of them can trace it back to the fact that they either started practicing by themselves (a lot of times out of embarrassment) or because they went to a class that wasn’t interested in assisting beginners. I think it’s extremely important for beginners to shop around until they find a class, an instructor that they are comfortable with so that they can learn the foundations.

  • Great post–makes me want to try yoga! I’ve always thought it was something I’d enjoy. Now I’m sold. Tell V to sign me up!

    Not in Haiti Anymore 😦
    Kathy

    • Mrs. H. says:

      Oh, Kathy, you would absolutely love it! I just know it! Nothing in the world makes you feel more proud of your body, proud to be a woman, confident, and centered. It’s just…oh, I can’t even describe it. πŸ™‚ One of my favorite poses is called “Goddess.” It’s a wide-legged deep squat with your arms straight out to your sides and crooked at the elbows at a right angle. That particular position really feels powerful and powerfully feminine, to me.

      See my comment to Lisa above for my little treatise on what beginners ought to do before they start taking yoga. πŸ™‚ I hope you give yoga a try! πŸ™‚

  • petthedog says:

    Thank you so much my lovely friend! You, A.Mo, and I started this yoga journey together, and it’s so wonderful to have you be a part of this next stage in my goal to instruct. Honestly, it’s also comforting to have you in the room since you are so good at filling in the gaps when people have questions. You may have misplaced your practice for a while, but you certainly haven’t forgotten it!!

    To all those who have already commented: Please stick with yoga! I wish I could get all of together for a practice! It is a struggle at first because our bodies are so accustomed to being tense, stressed, and tight, but when you retrain your body to let go, relax, and stretch, it’s a wonderful thing =)

    • Mrs. H. says:

      Haha, I was so afraid that I was stepping on your toes when I chimed in! I’m glad you didn’t feel that way–I didn’t want to steal your thunder from you. You did great last night! πŸ™‚ I think the girls really liked the after-practice demonstration of other, more complex poses, as well. It’s good for beginners to see how a foundation like down-dog can lead to dolphin can lead to a headstand. I think witnessing the progression takes some of the mystery and intimidation out of some of those more challenging poses. (Like you and your crazy pretzel pose a la Bob Harper! :))

  • […] I had the privilege of leading a few of my beautiful friends, one of whom isΒ my lovely friend A.Hab, in a restorative yoga practice. I have to admit, I was probably more nervous last night than I was […]

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