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Sunday Thoughts On Yoga TT: 6

It’s another incredible Sunday in South Jersey. I feel so energized by the crispness in the air and the endless blue skies. I look forward to the dying season as a time to slow down, regroup, and prepare to begin again. Over the winter I’ll continue my yoga studies, and come spring I’ll have my Yoga Alliance certification. The change of seasons is completely in sync with my own personal transformation.

I’m so in love with this beautiful weather that the thought of an all-day yoga anatomy lesson just made me sad. I was driving 40 minutes to class yesterday to sit inside all day, and all I could think about was how I wouldn’t be running around in the woods or picking pumpkins. Fifteen minutes into class, and my mind was changed. There’s so much to learn! I thought I had a pretty good grasp of anatomy – you know, body parts and all that. Muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones – no problem. Adduction, abduction – coolio. But there’s so much more…

There were a lot of pieces of paper covered with illustrations of bodies with no skin, bones with no muscle. Lots and lots of papers. I was overwhelmed and a little disappointed that it looked like we’d be doing exactly what I feared – attending a boring academic-style anatomy class. But then there were these giant bags of balls which looked a little curious and exciting. And they were totally exciting. Without getting into a recap of the entire 6 hours, I’ll just say that yesterday was not only a priceless learning experience about yoga anatomy and how to approach physical issues and limitations with students, but it was also a lesson on facilitating openings in my own body. I opened up, worked out, turned myself into jelly, and laughed SO HARD (mostly at puns about balls). Our instructor, Heather Marie Miller, was so knowledgeable and patient and fierce! She just had a baby 8 months ago, and finding that out inspired me to stop using having my own baby as an excuse for being so precious with my own body. I’m still the same me. I can do it. I won’t break in half.

my brand new balls!

I also took away my new favorite message of the moment, “try to approach things that are happening in your body with curiosity rather than judgement.” I love that, and I think I can apply that message to all parts of my life. I guess it can even be applied to yesterday – I was carrying so much prejudice about what was about to happen, what the class was going to be about. When I just welcomed it for what it was and shed the judgmental thoughts, the whole day surprised me. If I would have started my day with a spirit of curiosity, I would have been excited on the drive to class instead of frustrated and sad; not a huge deal, but a little instance where the lesson can be applied.

Judgment is a huge, ugly ordeal to find yourself wrapped up in. It’s the enemy of patience, exploration, curiosity, and most of all, happiness. Sometimes it feels so silly to experience such hugely transformative shifts from something so small as a Saturday afternoon yoga class or rolling on rubber balls, but when you open yourself up to the possibility of learning something new, that’s exactly what happens.

my classmates inspire me! look how cute they look in their Blissed In shirts!

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