I understand this is not a question, but I have been told this a number of times and feel it is important feedback and should be addressed.
My classes are ‘all levels’ classes ranging from beginner to advanced practitioners, including students with a wide range of physical challenges. I work hard to make my classes accessible, providing a safe environment and modifications to accommodate all of my students.
I tell students to honor their bodies and come out of a pose if they need to, but this is hard for students to do. The Ego creeps in and keeps some students from coming out of the pose when they should. The Ego may also discourage some students from using the props they need. But even with props, my classes are challenging. I want each student to explore the depths of each pose; to break it down, to feel how each movement works different parts of the body, to realize that each movement leading to the asana is an asana within itself.
Practicing an asana is a path, a journey. Why rush through it to get to the end? Imagine moving into an asana is a path filled with flowers and all of the best, most beautiful, flowers are at the beginning of the path. Many students never see these flowers because they are in such a hurry to get to the end of the path. The beauty, the essence of each asana, is in the journey.
Come to my class with an open heart and the soul of a five year old. Smile broadly and breathe deeply while practicing your most challenging asana, toss out the ego, let go of expectations, embrace the unknown, and honor your body. That’s all I ask from my students – and I know that’s a lot.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from B.K.S Iyengar that have helped me in my practice. I hope they inspire yours.
“Action is movement with intelligence. The world is filled with movement. What the world needs is more conscious movement, more action.”
“The challenge of yoga is to go beyond our limits – within reason. We continually expand the frame of the mind by using the canvas of the body. It is as if you were to stretch a canvas more and create a larger surface for a painting. But we must respect the present form of our body. If you pull too much at once, we will rip the canvas. If the practice of today damages the practice of tomorrow, it is not correct practice.”
“Be inspired but not proud.”
And one of my favorites from Prashant Iyengar.
“We are always looking outward, listening to our teachers who come with their own problems and limitations and we ignore the most supreme teacher within ourselves. The only way to evolve, to progress, to truly practice, is to listen to our inner teacher.”