What does a yoga teachers practice look like?
Yoga teachers go to yoga classes, too!
A little while ago as part of my guest blogging series, I invited people to share their experiences of yoga and how it benefits them.
One such lovely yogini who kindly forwarded me her words was a fellow yoga teacher who was new to the area.
Here are the words of Jo, telling us what her yoga means to her.
Yoga ... meaning to yoke or unite. Unity between the body, the mind and hopefully the spirit .... who would not aim for that goal!!! Feeling at one and at peace with oneself!!! It seems like an unreachable goal in our busy lifetime .... and does yoga enable this magnificent union?
A yoga class for me is just the start; an introduction, a starting point. But to explore deeper and truly experience the inner self, I believe that we need to take ourselves onto the mat ... alone ....to explore ourselves outside of our busy world.
Our instruction is a guidance and crucial to our learning. It helps prevent mis-alignment and mis-interpretation of intent and purpose. I have been guilty of both!!! But then learning a deeper knowledge and a deeper understanding ... it's great to take back into a class .... every day is a school day!!!
I found Lee-ann’s class to be both insightful and mindful .... she is an inspirational teacher ... she brings joy and energy to each and every class.
Ì also love the inspirational support that she adds to all her participants ... the small touches and details.
Lee-ann embraces yoga ... and I hope we all embrace her!!! Thank you, Lee-ann .... you are a generous spirit xxx
It is always a pleasure to see Jo on her yoga mat. She is an experienced yoga teacher herself and her practice is one of determination and focus. This is one physically strong lady who really enjoys exploring her practice!
I wholeheartedly agree with what Jo says;
it is important to be guided through the yoga poses by a trusted teacher
so that the intention or purpose of the poses can be conveyed. Otherwise, isn’t it just making shapes with our bodies on the mat? That would be a shame if it were because there is so much more depth to this wondrous thing we call yoga.
Challenging poses encourage us to better deal with challenging situations
The shapes we create on the mat are a way to strengthen and tone the muscles, to circulate the prana or the life force around the physical body and to be in the moment with the conscious movement of the breath.
Those who have held a warrior pose for an extended period of time will certainly attest to the fact that you need to dig deep to find focus or dristhi. One way to channel this focus is by concentrating on the breath, keeping it mindful and active.
In turn, we can link this back to the niyama, tapas, which invites us to be accepting of physical and emotional challenges that ultimately pave the way for our growth and development.
Having the regular guidance of a teacher is fantastic but as Jo rightly says, the yoga starts when you’re on your mat … alone.
Do you ever practice what you have learned during your yoga class at home on your own? I wonder if you might experience the poses slightly differently without the distraction of other bodies or another person’s voice offering alignment tips or queues?
The solo practice gives you the space to listen to what is going on in your body and to acknowledge thoughts and feelings and know that they are temporary and they pass.
With this regular practice, you are effectively training your mind to reframe your focus back to the present moment. When challenging times occur, as they have a habit of doing, you are far better able to process and deal with them with a greater sense of calm.
Indeed, who would not aim for that goal?
Thank you for reading Jo’s account, I hope it might have been useful for you. If you’ve enjoyed it, click on the little heart at the bottom of the page so that I know you’ve liked it.
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