Yoga, Flexibility, Controversy

When I first began my practice I avoided Instagram accounts and Yoga sites promoting advanced balancing poses and handstands with a twist of circus/acrobatic feel. I was lead to YOGIC PHILOSOPHY before I realized how much of a trend/fitness lifestyle it appears to have turned into. The more I looked for Yoga Sequences to begin, the more I became drawn to Instagram accounts of pretty photos of mostly blondes who can do seemly perfect handstands on a beautiful beach, or challenging arm balances and splits. This made me feel discouraged, and for some months I was focusing on my Asana practice rather than the spirit aspect, the meditations, the breath concentration, and intention and subtle meaning of the asana practice and meditation. As I go along, I am learning to be more in tune with myself and who I want to be in life, instead of which pose I can do with ease. Once I decided to stop looking at these accounts for specific poses, my life’s perspective opened up and I felt free, the subtle freedom I felt in the beginning of my Yoga practice. 

Recommended Article to read: Yoga Flexibility and Controversy

Feature image found in mentioned article.

Photos of the over-flexible representation of ‘yoga’ give the wrong message to those who don’t have an abnormal range of motion in their joints or extreme ligament laxity. To practice true Yoga in its purest essence, you don’t have to be able to stand on your hands or head, pries your limbs apart or balance for hours. You just have to be true, honest, kind and present. Aware of yourself and alive in the world.” – Emma-Louise Newly, writer of above article.  

I began my yoga practice in January, 2015, at home. I came to Yoga with a deep yearning to understand myself on a spiritual and physical level. Through my exploration of Yoga, the many paths, and a variety of meditation and breathing techniques, I became truer to myself and life’s purpose. My personal home practice is still important to me, and through the below finding/exploration, it is more consistent and authentic.  

In December 2018, I went to a Yoga for Cats event in my town, at our local Humane Society, and was led to taking classes for the first time at a local studio. Through this exploration of different classes, instructors, and styles (and levels), of the regulars who attend the classes, I came across a posting for a 200HR Yoga Teacher Training, to which began on January 26th, 2019. I always saw myself as a teacher, or healer, in some way, and that is why I chose the path of psychology/social work, and counseling because of the deep connection I have to the human spirit. I never saw myself as an official Yoga Instructor, though, in the studio setting that spits out ‘positive affirmations’ with a happy smile, ignoring the fact that there are more than happy vibes in the world. I saw myself, and see myself, utilizing the philosophy of Yoga, theories learned on my educational path, and my personal/family values, to teach others to heal themselves, or find their own personal strengths. 

I decided, at the last minute, last week before this training started, with only one more spot waiting to be filled (maybe by me), I joined the 200HR Yoga Teacher Training through BE Warriors Yoga. I graduated with a certificate on 6/30/2019: 

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With fellow Yogis who were on their own paths of exploration, whether to deepen their sense of self, to heal from past trauma, or to learn how to grieve and overcome loss/death of loved ones.  

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[fellow Yogis, I am second to the right.]

Through the exploration of Yogic Philosophy, Chakra systems, basics of Anatomy and our body systems, proper alignment, cueing, meditation techniques, breathing techniques, Mantras, Chanting, 8-limbs of Yoga, Samasaras, Nadis, mudras, Doshas, and more, I learned to express myself and who I am openly. Learning to teach/lead a class was a big step of mine due to my ‘Social Anxiety’ and self-doubt. By the end of the past 6 months, I learned to express myself. I still have a long way to go, but each step I’ve made in life, has a purpose, and I left my footprint with each step I took. I have taught others in subtle ways. I have been a teacher, a healer, all along. Now, it is time, for me to share it with the world. Come practice with me in the future! Where ever I may end up. I have a long way to go to feel competent as a Yoga Teacher, but with experience comes comfort and knowledge. Maybe I will apply what I’ve learned in Yoga to my children and families through therapy at some point, or out in the community as a way to promote social change, and social acceptance. Anyways, it is a stepping stone, to build a career of healing on, and a stepping stone to go even deeper within myself, and express it outwardly. Namaste. 

Some gifts given during our Yogi Journey together, provided by fellow Yogis who shared this Yoga Teacher training journey: 

 

What I made for each one of them, Affirmation rocks:

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My first painting experience since High School.

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