Well Dressed: Go with the Flow!
Hope you all had a great week! Bear with me on the length of this post – there is an outfit below if you prefer to just scroll down…
Times of change and challenge, including season changes, require us to loosen our grip on where we’re headed and go with the flow. I just traveled to Wisconsin with my yoga teacher Hilaire Lockwood to do a power yoga master class and a workshop on the chakra system at a studio in Kohler. A full day dedicated to being on my mat always reminds me that I’m not making nearly enough time to practice. Breathing (pranyama) is our most accessible and organic tool for regulating our mind, emotions and nervous system. When coupled with a physical practice that energetically opens and empowers the areas of the body that need it most, a consistent practice enables us to walk through life with the right amount of strength and surrender. We feel balanced. Over the 12 years I’ve been practicing and teaching, my experience goes something like this: when I practice less, my mind gets busier, my emotions are more reactive and erratic, and, quite frankly, I’m not as nice of a person! The more consistent I am on my mat, the deeper I breath off the mat, the slower my mind spins and the more discerning and calm my emotions are – all creating a more free, moderate (read: balanced) and fluid consciousness. A more stable emotional space and balanced energetic body allows me to trust the process and walk through life more fluidly rather than stomp through trying to be in control.
A lot of friends who know I teach ask me where to start and what kind of class to choose. Sadly, finding “real” yoga can be a challenge, if you’re seeking it for its true, traditional, holistic benefits and not just the physical movement. I have two tips for anyone searching to start yoga. First, do your research. Read the bios of the teachers to find out where they were trained (maybe even IF they were trained – lots of teachers these days sadly aren’t even certified) and the philosophy behind how they teach. Look for language that speaks to addressing the practice holistically – physical movement as well as breathwork and meditation. Second, don’t be “one and done”. Yoga has been watered down in the West to include so many styles, formats and variations. Don’t let your first experience shape your whole perspective of yoga in general. Every studio, every teacher and every class will be different – search until you find the one that fits. Feel free to contact me for a recommendation no matter where you live.
Along that vein, if you follow the news or yoga at all, you probably know one of the true pillars of the yoga community, BKS Iyengar, passed away this week at the age of 95. My teacher training with Hilaire included two of his books, one of them being one of the best books you could ever read, regardless of whether or not you practice yoga or ever want to. Pick up Light on Life and read it. He is the creator of Iyengar Yoga (which is perhaps the best method of yoga that exists), however the book is more about life than it is specifically about yoga. His humble reflections on living a yogic life are a perspective so worth hearing. Best of all, if you don’t have time (or desire) for the physical practice, reading books like this one promote self-study, which is what the whole practice of yoga encourages in general – regardless of whether or not you are on a yoga mat.
Thank you for reading!
Be well xo
I threw on an option to wear the skirt for fall – just a couple shots to give you an idea.