How to practice Yoga alone
Coming back to yoga after taking time off
I’m afraid of the dark. I still run for the bed after turning off the lights at night. The bed is safe. Under the covers, I’m protected. Maybe I watched Gremlins, or Jaws, or It and they left an impression that plays out every time the lights go out until I’m safe in bed?
The point is I’m a grown man. I shouldn’t be afraid of the dark, but I am. And only at night. At 4am when I’m stumbling around to the shower before practice, the darkness doesn’t bother me. I have no fear at 4am. I’m not thinking enough to be afraid.
The first 10 minutes of my practice is on autopilot.
Why practice Ashtanga yoga?
I find it incredibly hard to start again. I’m unsure of my voice.
Over the past 3 months I started to write about a few different topics and each time I talked myself out it. I allowed things to come up and distract me. I got away from my practice of writing.
How do you get started again?
Stretching tells you the truth
There was a time when practice was a form of punishment. A punishment worthy of the crime I felt I had committed. Getting up in the AM to be alone on the mat was part of my penance. I was, Doing Time. Doing Mysore.
The beauty of these feelings being contained to practice was that I was able to work through my crap. Examine it, dissect it, experiment on it, and own it.
Give Yourself Permission
We practice this yoga for ourselves, for a connection to our core, and that ripples out effecting everyone we come into contact with. Everyone we are in a relationship with.
A relationship requires two happy and healthy individuals. . .
How do these individuals survive the distance, the hours, the diets, clothing, habits of a Mysore practice?
Are you part of the 95%
I don’t go to chow-chow-flow classes much anymore. I don’t know what rabbit pose is, or how to do happy baby, without sucking my thumb and giggling like my nephew who is, in fact, a baby. When I practice with an advanced teacher, I get precise advice. Advice directed at my practice. Advice at a moment when I’m ready to learn it, incorporate it.
I practice Ashtanga Yoga. This means . . . I don’t know what it means exactly except, that my aim is always getting re-focused. Practicing this method means that I’m forever pulling back layers and finding new ones. I’m a student.
When my elbow started to hurt in practice I asked for advice about what to do. Push down through the metacarpophalangeal joint of the first finger, she said.
She wasn’t the first person to tell me this. I had heard it in a workshop back in 2008, I had heard it in countless chow-chow-flow classes I had taken over the years, and dis-regarded. I disregarded it as if it were a script that every teacher said, something to sound intelligent, something to fill in the time between each 'downward-dog.'
Find out how to give yourself permission and click [here]
Yoga for healing
90 to 95% of the population will take this way out if given the option.
When The Boss flip-flopped his hand at me and said, 'You do.' I was being guided through Inhibitory learning. I was being allowed to fail and test out my fear in a safe environment. I wasn't endangering myself or others, well maybe Angela, Lu and Danny, but I wasn't endangering my future.
I was being pushed beyond my comfort zone.
Dr. Sam has a direct link to your local pharmacy and a vast array of 'gifts' for you. Western medical science has come up with a patch for many health problems. Taking a CNS depressant for PTSD, panic-attacks, OCD, or Social-Anxiety Disorder. (BACK BENDS?!?)
Are you in the other 5 percent?
Yoga for injuries
What if someone offered to help?
Would you accept it?
While learning Eka Pada I got the right foot behind the head. And then I pushed the chin up with both hands. I felt a sharp pull along the QL, a knife stabbing me somewhere near the spine. I could feel my toes. But I was aware that something wasn’t right.
In this Mysore practice not much is said. Exam inhale, arms up . . .
We aren’t told to, ‘Inhale, activate the quads, soften the gluteus, retract the abdomen, don’t let the low ribs lift, soften the traps, lift the chin away from the shoulders, fix the eyes on the thumbs. Dve . . .’
That gets figured out later, when we need it, maybe by a teacher, maybe not.
Mysore isn’t a self-help book. It’s not a band-aid.
It is self-exploration.
Have you ever been in intense physical pain and then adding insult to injury you get some emotionally devastating news? Do you let it stop you? Or do you rise up agains it?
The first time I went into the mysore room after fracturing and dislocating the clavicle, I was afraid, scared, sad, and confused. I didn’t know what I was going to do.
I unrolled my mat and stood at the top. I closed my eyes and surrendered.
Ekam - Inhale, arm up
Dve - Exhale, lower
Trini - Inhale, head lifts
Catvari - ( I can’t lower down, I can’t jump back, I can’t . . .)
My head was filled with I can’t. And that would have stopped me. But I wanted to figure it out. I was determined not to let an injury take this away.
If this practice is for anyone and everyone, then the injured can do this practice too!
Read how to modify your practice to fit your injury HERE