Everywhere you look the universe is screaming out for you to notice it - to learn something, to wake up, to get out of your own head and all the spinning thoughts. This is a lesson I hear often from a dear friend and one of my teachers. Each and every person you come across can serve as a teacher. I find lessons in the people I disagree with and those who I do not even know. My friends and family serve as teachers too. Just observing how I react to or participate in situations can shed a little light for me - even in those dusty, dark corners that I was not yet ready to illuminate.
When it comes to my yoga practice I am truly blessed to have two teachers. Two enthusiastic women grace my life every week and almost every day. Seriously - how am I this lucky?
One of my goals for this winter was to increase my yoga practice and to harness the discipline to make it a part of my daily life. There are many parts that make up yoga as a whole, the physical practice of yoga being only a fraction of it. Exploring one branch of a tree only makes the other branches easier and more enticing to reach so I explore two types of yoga - Prana Flow and Ashtanga. For me they support one another and together they grow my practice in ways I have only really touched upon.
Prana flow is the Rasa Vinyasa class I have spoken so fondly of. I have explored it for a little over a year. I hardly ever miss a class - and when I do I really miss it, I feel its void. In that class we move through creative sequences that flow and change with the season. It is very dynamic and expressive. Our teacher loves music - and it shows - her sequences are linked with lovingly created play lists that take you on a journey and free you. She challenges us to stay with the pose longer, to take it deeper, to explore it more creatively, to bust open your heart and most of all to breathe...
That is the key in all of this yoga - your breath moves you - you listen to it - you move with it and move it around your body. In both practices, the space and time between each pose is just a sacred as the pose itself. At least that is how I feel and what I work towards.
Recently I have added the practice Ashtanga to my life. I had explored Ashtanga at the very beginning of my yoga journey but had left it for many years. Ashtanga demands my discipline, my attention, dedication and openness. I honor its roots and it humbles me. I feel blessed to have found a safe and warm studio where I am able to explore this new practice and an exuberant teacher to guide me. I love going to this studio - my smile grows the closer I get to it every day and am excited to see what unfolds from here.
It took me a little while to find both of these practices and teachers. The first I found by way of a recommendation from a friend - that I just had to try this class and this teacher and I would be hooked forever (thank you Tara and Lara). The second I went to on my own - because it was time for me to find it. Both of my teachers have smiles as huge as can be and when you are on a path that is challenging it is very nice to be met with a smile...
Life is challenging, just being a human is hard enough - go meet someone on this path with a smile, and then smile at yourself for good measure. Namaste.
For more information about the Ashtanga studio where I practice please feel free to explore the webiste for BeFit Yoga . As I mentioned before Yogi with Shani will tell you more about Rasa Vinyasa and the teacher behind it. For more background and information on Prana Flow check out Shiva Rae.