I have a secret… I am a yoga teacher, but I haven’t practiced daily asana (the practice of yoga postures) in years! Of course, I have a regular practice – 5 minutes here, 60 minutes there – but I don’t “do yoga” every day. My yoga practice has sort of evolved into paying deeper attention to the subtleties – the things you can’t see or take a picture of (like breathing exercises, meditations and the philosophical aspects of yoga).
However, recently, I returned from a 5-day retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and I discovered that a daily asana practice is just what the doctor ordered for the time being. I say, “for the time being” because I try to listen to what my body needs. Sometimes it needs to dance. Sometimes it needs to lift heavy weights. Sometimes it needs to take hour-long hikes in nature. Sometimes it needs short bursts of explosive exercise. Right now, it needs asana… lots and lots of asana.
During my time at Kripalu, I participated in yoga classes once or twice per day. The classes at Kripalu are generally 75 minutes long – so yes, that was A LOT OF YOGA. But is what my body craved, and is still craving. So my gift to myself is to listen intently and follow my heart. My heart yearns to have a daily practice for at least 30 days. How long each day? That depends. Will the poses and the physical intensity of the poses vary? You betcha. For me, this time is a rededication to listen to what I need each day. Today it was an Ashtanga short-form (about 30 minutes). Tomorrow, I will go to a 60 minute vinyasa flow, lead by a skilled and heart-filled teacher. I am certain that after these more vigorous sessions, I will need gentle yoga. Each day will be a surprise because each day will reveal something new.
Are you craving yoga? Gentle Yoga Flow will be returning sooner than you realize. I will provide the link as soon as it becomes available. Until then, enjoy this gentle yoga class in the privacy of your own home.