I've been feeling a little too comfortable in my Level 1 classes of late. Several poses still challenge me, especially balancing poses. But I decide to try a couple of Level 2 (intermediate) classes just to challenge myself.
So last Saturday I signed up for a Hatha 2 class. I arrived about 15 minutes earlier and settled into a Corpse Pose. When the teacher, A. arrived, I realised this was going to be a yoga class with only two students. I'm guessing it's the pouring rain and the Christmas shopping season.
So there we were, the three of us -- A., the other student and myself -- we looked at each other and just smiled. A. took the situation with yogic aplomb, and we started class.
I managed to do most of the poses, although I had some difficulties with some of the more advance poses. But it was wonderful to have the almost undivided attention of an experienced yoga teacher spotting your alignment and helping you go further in your asanas. (My back and abs still aches from Saturday's class.) It felt good. Satisfying -- even though I proved that I am only edging into intermediate level in my practice.
It was only after class ended that I realised how awkward it should feel. Yet I felt no such during practice. If anyone had told me before class that it will be an intermediate practice with only 2 students, I would have skipped class, self-consciousness overcoming my desire to further my practice.
But the amazing thing is, I did not have time to feel afraid. Fear is a product of the mind. The challenge of the asanas is an amazing focus for the mind, so that it has no space to wander, stirring up the anxieties and the fear.
Now I have to make greater effort to attend the pranayama and meditation classes. These more subtle part of my practice have been neglected for too long.
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