Wednesday, June 06, 2007

YOGA | Back to Anusara After Flu

With work and the recent bout of the flu over the weekend, I had to miss a few yoga classes recently. I finally made it back to Anusara 1 class this evening. Maybe I shouldn't complain, because this is a Level 1 class - but the class felt easy. At least most of the poses we tried today were easy. Even the Half-Moon Pose was manageable tonight.

I'm been keeping track of my progress in yoga in the areas of flexibility, strength and balance. I believe I have progressed in all these areas, but my most significant improvement is in the area of flexibility - and to a lesser degree, my physical strength. Balance poses - even a basic Tree Pose - still challenge me. On the upside though, my struggles trying to perfect standing poses have given me a pair of nicely shaped calves.

What I have noticed of my practice recently is how applying the principles of the Anusara practice has helped me improve on some of the poses. The Anusara classes are not as strength-based as some of the other Power Yoga classes, and it can get rather technical - but it has helped me in my practice. The simple details of energising the legs, the direction of the hips, the tucking in of the tailbone - all of it contirbuted to a more successful Half-Moon Pose that usually alludes me.

But yoga is more than about neat little tricks to get the perfect pose. And Half-Moon Pose is more than having strong legs to balance. It's getting different parts of my body to co-ordinate in an energised whole into a pose. Yoga is about union afterall, and my practice is revealing to me in small glimpses of how all parts of the body are connected.

It seems I had the ability and the strength to do these poses all the time - but I had to learn how to work the body as a cohesive whole into the asana. I wonder at all the new information the brain had to assimilate to make the poses possible. How body intelligence has to come from a kind of mental intelligence also.

Yoga is a wondrous practice indeed. It is mind, body and soul practice.


chrisa511 said...

I did yoga for awhile and I really enjoyed it. I used to go with my girlfriend, but I stopped when she stopped and we're not together anymore. I should really get back to it. It really did help me feel better.

Anonymous said...

I finally went to a yoga class last week and loved it. Oh how I've missed doing yoga - it's been about a year. I plan to go again tonight. Glad you were able to go back!

LK said...

I just started yoga eight weeks ago, and can now do shoulder stands. I am hoping to continue's amazing.

darkorpheus said...

Chris: Yoga is a wonderful thing to share with someone you love - it's healthy, and you come out of class feeling better together. It's definitely easier to get to class when you have someone with you, motivating you. I hope you find your way to yoga class soon. I'm always the yoga advocate, of course :)

Iliana: Hey, glad you're back at yoga too. Last night was my first yoga class this week - so I'm glad to be back too - but my flu isn't going away soon. :(

LK: For me, the moment I feel the effect of yoga, I want to keep turning up for class. And you sound like yoga has definitely made a similar impression. I hope you can continue with yoga too - it's an amazing practice.

Now you're doing shoulder stands. Next time you might be on to arm balances, head stands, then hand stands. There's something satisfying being able to see progress. Glad you're loving it.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how the body learns, isn't it? When I am dancing and learning a new step it is all in my head but with practice my body starts to remember and if my head gets in the way the dancing is not as good.

darkorpheus said...

Stefanie: Precisely. Yoga and dance are very much alike - and you finally surrender to the intelligence of your own body, and move to how it feels rather than how you think you should be.