Yoga is not about fitness

As a new yoga teacher, I am surprised sometimes to learn how many people have misconceptions about yoga. Many are scared to try it – “it looks too hard!” they claim. Or “I’m not flexible enough!”

Because of the way yoga is marketed typically, I can understand where these misconceptions arise. Look at most covers of Yoga Journal or even ads in your Instagram feed that feature yoga and you will see taut bodies in shapes that may not look possible for you.

In truth, yoga is about “union” of mind and body (and some say spirit). It is a practice that allows us to realize our true nature. And perhaps most importantly, it is a practice to calm your nervous system. For me, that latter part is especially important. I find that, with all of the available “feeds” coming in, it is far too easy for me to become over-stimulated. A good yoga practice brings me back to my body, my breath and the present moment.

Yoga is preparation for meditation practice, for a process of getting still and looking inward. Generally meditation calls for an upright spine and focused attention. It is awfully hard to sit for very long if you have tight hips or a sore back. So yes, there is an aspect of physicality that is important. And, with an attitude of play and curiosity, yoga becomes an exploration of oneself and our inner being.

The more I teach, the deeper I go into the traditions and into the vast layers of this ancient practice. It is a science and also an art. I’m so grateful to have this tool for calming my nervous system, especially in times of great change and upheaval globally.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

P.S. If you want to try an accessible practice, our next online Sunday (re)Treat is SomaRestore for Gardening and features guest teacher Grant Foster. Register at this link by choosing “Sunday (re)Treat” from the drop-down menu. Hope to see you there! 

SomaRestore ticket for Instagram in JPG format

Saturday Share – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam

“The world is my family”, originally comes from the Upanishads, ancient Sanskrit tomes. In this time of a global pandemic and near-universal lockdown, it has salience in that we’re truly all in it together – East, West, rich, poor, black, white, brown, Hindu, Muslim, young, old – and the only way to overcome, recover, heal […]

via Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam — random rants ruminations ramblings

I have a growing interest in Sanskrit because of my studies of yoga. This blogger had a beautiful translation and discussion of this message that we can all appreciate at this time.

Enjoy!

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

In syncopated time (re-post)

Does anyone else feel as thought they have been living in a time warp lately? Like March went by in the blink of an eye? 

Me too. In April of 2019 I wrote about the rhythms of life and how life can be a dance. It feels appropriate to re-post an edited version in the “new era” which will likely be know as the COVID-19 pandemic.

***
In a recent dance class I started thinking about my life as a song or a dance. It is an interesting metaphor, and I had to ask these questions:

What type of song would it be? 

–Syncopated, lyrical, dance-worthy, synthesized?

In what type of venue would it be played? 

–Concert hall dive bar, dance club, opera house?

In what genre of music would it belong?

–Pop, rock, blues, jazz, classical, EDM, yoga, country, rap, Latin, samba, world music?

***

In syncopated time.JPG
You Tube link to Dangling Conversations (where the title of this post originates)

When I thought about my own life, I decided that while I would love for it to be smooth and lyrical, it tends to be more syncopated.

Sometimes there are some dance-able parts in there, and that makes it a lot of fun!

Other times I seem to be tripping over my own feet, struggling to keep time, and hoping to come out up right.

Generally, I enjoy the musical accompaniment of my life. The soundtrack includes Zumba, jazz (improvisation), and some classical, when I’m lucky. But usually it is a syncopated rhythm, and I trip or dance along as fluidly as I can manage.

I am grateful for it all. I recognize the value of each part of this interwoven melody, the story and the music of my life. Some of it is good, some of it is hard. And I am so fortunate to have each day in which I can live and love.

I’ll take it. Syncopated rhythms and all.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com