When I first started practicing yoga, back in 1994, it blew my mind every single day. I LOVED the physical practice, the crazy things I could do with my body, the exhilaration I felt after a fast, 90 minute vinyasa practice. I loved the stillness afterwards in Savasana. Living in New York CIty, this was sometimes the only time I experienced stillness. I loved mantra, I felt like I would burst into tears every time we sang kirtan or vedic chants.
Yoga still blows my mind, but often in different and unexpected ways. Though I still enjoy a physical practice, it's different now. As long as there's a side bend, twist and back bend in there somewhere, it feels more about moving energy than accomplishing something or pushing myself. My poses are less flashy and more subtle. The stuff that blows my mind would look REALLY boring on Facebook or Instagram, as it's basically me sitting still, feeling less harried, incredibly calm with a feeling of great joy inside. I still love mantra, but it is more a personal practice and I rarely attend public kirtans anymore, though I still love to chant with others and especially to teach voice and harmonium to those just beginning the practice.
How this affects my teaching is tricky. I understand most people still LOVE to move fast, to practice the flashy poses, and I'm excited for them. I still try and offer up challenging shapes in my classes, but when one doesn't practice Eka Pada Galavasana very often, it becomes harder to explain it in a coherent way, or demo it at all. Though I feel myself moving more towards teaching pranayama, mantra, and meditation techniques, I feel the resistance from my vinyasa students. I also feel the resistance from my former self, who once thought that would ALWAYS be the way I practiced and taught yoga. Change is difficult - on both sides of the aisle. But we must listen to our inner teachers and move with grace towards the evolution of our yoga, no matter the challenges, which as I've learned, are definitely NOT always physical. In fact, they are often mental, psychological and spiritual challenges.
I'm still navigating the waters. I hope to see you out there, in your boat and maybe we can help each other through the waves, as they ebb and flow. Maybe one day, we'll do Scorpion together and the next, we'll sit quietly, breathing in and out slowly. All paths are important, necessary and incredibly humbling.