Yoga Playtime moves away from lateral inquiry and into the freedom of play. It is an opportunity to explore asana (poses) completely. We consider the layers within each pose–deep or soft, extended or subtle. In these classes I will not ask you to push your limits, but rather expand them in all directions available.
Exploration of Asana
Asana are not just cool-kid yoga moves to tick off the ol’ list and make it through class. They are complete experiences that take tending to and patience. Within every asana there is an infinite range of expressions. One singular asana has the power to show us so much about ourselves–how we respond to our expectations, how we move through challenges, how deeply we listen, and our physical state. So often, I witness students put pressure on themselves to get as close to the “full expression of the pose” (a phrase I am moving away from). When what we should really be doing is to search within the pose for the full spectrum of what it has to offer.
Back it up
For example, let’s consider Uttanasana, or forward fold. Quite often the initial reaction is to dive as deep as possible to “nail it.” Rather than go headfirst into a superficial asana, I suggest backing off. Take it little by little. If you are accustomed to reaching your forehead to your shins, then consider what happens if you back off a notch. What happens when you shift the weight around in your feet? How does the pace of moving in and out of a fold affect the quality of your experience?
Let’s look at it a different way. Perhaps you have been hanging out in Bakasana, or crow pose for years and are still not sure what it does for you. After much practice, you’ve managed to foist yourself onto your arms and maintain some form of balance. Congratulations. But what’s next? Have you tried coming at it from a different angle? How about extending the legs one at a time? What about it’s cousin, Koundinyasana?
Be your own Guru
Om namo guru dev namo is a Sanskrit mantra that means, I bow to the creative wisdom, I bow to the divine teacher within. I encourage everyone to be his or her own guru. When we begin to understand the range of our asana, it becomes an instrument for our long-term personal yoga practice. Our yogi tool belts grow more substantial and we become our own teachers. We move past performing yoga, or following along in class. Let’s dive deeper into a multifaceted practice that serves us as we move through life.
All are welcome
For those of you concerned that your experience or ability is too limited–there is a place for you. While you may witness a particular layer of a pose that seems unreachable, rest assured that there are a vast amount of alternatives to choose from, and enjoy the inspiration. For those of you wondering if you will achieve the physicality and action you crave–be certain that creativity and exploration is not for the faint of heart. From wherever you arrive, Friday afternoons will soon be a yogic game changer.
Let’s get started
Yoga with Sarah Vinyasa Flow at Yoga Garden every Friday afternoon at 3pm.