During my first, I don’t know… 5-20 yoga classes, when the teacher would say “Cobra” my eyes would dart around the room trying to figure out WHAT IS COBRA? “I mean, she’s low to the ground, but that guy has straight arms. Wait, that chick’s legs are off of the floor! Argh! Which one is it?” And like any practitioner that still holds on to their pride on the mat, I never asked for clarification. I just kind of did, well, whatever I thought looked the best.
Gradually, yoga became mentally healing for me and it bothered me that I was still struggling with the differences between the low-laying backbends, so (pride not fully knocked out yet) I set out for the answer on my own.
After immersing myself in multiple books and web-pages (I had to make sure that they all checked out as valid sources, of course), I went into my next class and was thoroughly able to enjoy and experience the value of each pose. Losing my chattering thoughts to the sound of my breath and bringing awareness into my body. This is what yoga is about! After that class I thought, “Why on earth did I wait so long to figure this out?” and, more importantly, “Why didn’t I just ask one of my teachers for clarification?” I could have been experiencing this calm, mental escape, present-ness and be backache free AGES ago!
If you are like I was, not quite understanding the differences between Sphinx, Low-Cobra, Cobra (yep, they are two separate poses!) and Upward-facing Dog then this video is just for you! I’ll walk you through the poses from the ground up, all the way to your pinky toe, so that you may grasp the subtleties that make up each pose. Understanding where the action initiates from, how to lengthen your low spine so you bend in your mid and upper back because backbends are not back-crunchers, allowing you to find ease and confidence in your full expression.
So what are you waiting for? Hit Play!
And one last thought. No matter what pose, breath, Sanskrit word or thought you’re struggling with, please learn from my cobra mistake and don’t let pride get in the way of experiencing ALL of the amazing benefits that yoga offers you on and off of your mat!
(Read more on Lori’s Blog: www.Electroga.com)
“Man, I wish I could look like that yogi on the cover of Yoga Journal. Their body is perfect, they must have it all together.”
How many times have we all thought this when looking at the athletes on health and fitness magazines? All the time, right? We then believe that in order to practice yoga, we must talk the yoga talk, wear the designer leggings, and be a size two in order to fit into the yoga world. But I am here to say that we don’t need any of these ultimatums to have a meaningful personalized yoga practice. Yoga means to Unite. Meaning to unite the body, soul, and mind in order to find the true self, our true nature and true being. And this true self is a being of pure love and joy and resides within each of us! When practicing yoga, we should never be discouraged because we may not look like a “typical yogi.”
So who cares if we are a size two or not, If we can or cannot afford designer yoga clothing, or if we mess up a Sanskrit word every now and then? These things don’t matter, so together let us start a revolution of just being ourselves and letting go all preconceptions of who or what we should be like! We each already have a beautifully personalized mold that only we fit in! Lets be brave today and try to own our mold, no matter why size, shape, color, emotion, worldly addiction or struggle we deal with. Own it and use it as your power to be you and share your light and love with others. I have a challenge for us today, to look into the mirror, deeply into our own eyes.
What do we see? Looking back, we see a perfectly whole, joyful and happy being, our True Self. But it is when we bring our attention elsewhere, we forget who we are. Maybe we focus on those extra five pounds we think we need to lose. Maybe it’s our skin, hair, or desire to be more out-going, happy, successful, or whatever it is that we each struggle with. But as we realize this, we notice that we are not bound to these thoughts or ideas. We just saw our true self, made of love and happiness. So what is making us believe that we are not thin enough, rich enough, or pretty enough?
It is the pressures of the world around us, the criticisms of strangers, the hateful words of others that make us feel unworthy. But just let it go! Look at yourself! You are already whole, beautiful, and perfect, never needing to change. Accept yourself today with a full and open heart to truly love who you are! When we accept ourselves in love, we open up to accept and love the world around us. Lets start a revolution today! Self Love and Acceptance! I can’t wait to see the world change! Can you?
Read more posts by Rachel on her blog: www.rachelpriest.com/blog