Yoga is not all just Asana*

*(Those seemingly impossible “let’s bend our bodies into a pretzel” poses)

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You may see, or may not see all over the internet, “Yoga is not just Asana” Do you ever wonder what all that is about? I used to not think anything of it. Until I decided to make an (a small, but growing) adjustment to my life and mindset. I don’t know if it was even a conscious decision or if it came with age or a point in my practice where I started to self-examine more. I’ve never been much of an inquisitive person, I pretty much would go with the flow. I just let my gut/heart lead the way.  When I went to Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) I had NO CLUE what I was getting into! Instead of walking into a situation with my “eyes wide open”; I committed myself to this program with “eyes really shut”! I just let my soul guide me through the experience. And boy what an experience it was!! Talk about an eye-opening, mind-blowing experience! There really is more to yoga than just the physical stuff on the yoga mat!!
Now, first I should preface this to say that I came to yoga relatively late in life and didn’t take the plunge to become a Yoga teacher until I was past 50. So, you could say that I was deeply rooted in my ways and came to this experience with over half a century of baggage! Really old dilapidated baggage. Deeply rooted mental and physical scars (otherwise known in Yoga speak as Samskaras)
I learned a lot throughout the course. I must admit though that I was overly critical of myself and judging myself by others’ experiences (one of the things you are NOT supposed to do). There were other yoga teacher trainees that were having a lot of epiphanies and profound changes in their mindsets while going through the course. I would witness other trainee’s breakdown in tears while explaining the shift within themselves. They were having profound life changing experiences. I thought of myself as “broken” in a way because I was not having these profound “a-ha moments” like others in my class. It wasn’t until years later (now) that I am realizing (the information is still sinking in) that I perhaps already went through similar life altering experiences, but in different ways earlier in my life and that my reaction to it them was different, as we all are different. Or it very well could be that I just haven’t “arrived” to that point of self-examination yet.  Time will only tell and living life is all a learning experience.
Anyway, getting back to the Yoga is not just Asana, or Yoga is not just the poses on the mat. Yoga is big and profound, or it can be subtle. Just taking a moment to smell the proverbial roses is a yogic act. Taking a few moments to take a few long slow breaths before walking into a meeting to settle your nerves is practicing yoga. Thinking before you speak and choosing your words wisely is a mindful, yogic act. I know that I am being overly simplistic, but why not just start there? It’s Just like dipping your toes into the water so to speak.

In the coming weeks, I hope to be posting more of my thought processes and learning experience in the coming weeks so perhaps lift some of the mystery of Practicing Yoga as a mid-lifer in a fixer-upper body.  I would love to hear from you too.  Let’s make this a dialogue.

Namaste’ Y’all

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Published by ZenEweYoga

After discovering Yoga later in life through the workplace as a stress reducer, I was inspired to seek out a program to deepen my own personal yoga practice as well as learning how to help others like myself reclaim some peace of mind and reclaim body flexibility. I am a registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. Graduating the Spring of 2014 from the YTT program at the Glowing Body Yoga Studio in Knoxville, TN that was primarily an alignment based curriculum as the program was under the direction of B.K.S. Iyengar certified teacher Cindy Dollar of One Center Yoga in Asheville, NC who brought in other Iyengar taught teachers, Gabriel Halpern and Pranayama specialist, Richard Rosen. I have also studied with the body positive trailblazer and creator of Curvy Yoga, Anna Guest-Jelley and have added certified Curvy yoga teacher to my teacher toolbox. Not long after that, I found Dianne Bondy of Yogasteya and Amber Karnes of Body Positive Yoga and studied their program, Yoga for All and have added Yoga for All certification to my accreditations. I am a huge cheerleader for the Accessible Yoga movement and Yoga and Body Image Coalition and I try to embody the values and provide safe, judgement free space for people to playfully explore and reconnect with our bodies and souls. Whether you are a beginner to Yoga or have been a few times but quit for whatever reason or perhaps you felt out of place in a normal studio environment, I offer yoga sessions so that others like myself can experience the reclaiming of their bodies much like I have and experience the freedom that a solid yoga practice can bring along with the stillness of the mind and the restoration of your spirit. I recognize that those “persons of size” need a more gentle approach (because, let's face it, been there, done that!) and time to get from pose to pose. I help guide you to fit the poses to your body and not your body to the poses.

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