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"It's not how well you do the pose but who you are when you do it".

INDONESIA | Tuesday, 9 May 2017 | Views [534]

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
05/09/2017

"It's not how well you do the pose but who you are when you do it". 

I decided to stay in Ubud another week to delve into yoga or asanas a little further. Let me first just say that I use the word asana to describe positions of the body be it still or moving. Practicing asanas are only a part of yoga. The appropriate use of the word yoga is simply put to describe a way of life or living. Yoga refers to a liberation of the mind and body; a conscious awakening to our interconnectedness to all of life.

I found a very nice studio that offers a variety of classes. I have been starting out my mornings with a Vinyasa class, a more movement based style of yoga that flows from one posture to the next. This class is a fresh way to wake up as it is usually very challenging, helping to circulate blood and oxygen and preparing for the day. After this class, I putz around the area seeing local sites. In the evening I go back to an evening class and I chose a class that compliments the strenuous morning vinyasa class. For example, I attended a class called Roll and Release where we used two semi soft balls to roll on different muscle groups. The intent is to softly release tight areas in muscles, and it was amazing to feel the length gained when one side was rolled out compared to the other side yet to be rolled.

The class I attended last night was a class I'm most excited about, called Yin Yoga. The Taoist belief in the concept of Yin and Yang is used in this class as the main focus. Yang refers to things that are energetic, warm, and maybe strenuous. Yin is the compliment of Yang, and refers to slow, cool, and gentle. During the class we did about four postures, eight in total to account for left and right sides, and each posture was held for 5 minutes. The challenge is mostly in quieting the mind first then the body. For example, I would start the pose feeling very frustrated because I couldn't get into position and the initial position can border on hurting but not enough to make you stop, so really uncomfortable. Once I started to feel okay with the posture about a minute or two would go by and my mind would start chatting again. I felt the need to readjust or wiggle a toe or something. The second quieting now begins, turning your attention to your body and breathing, focusing only the realization that right then right there everything is as it should be and there is no need to force the body to open. Great class!!

Another thought I'd like to share with you is something a yoga instructor said in a different class the other day and I'm not sure if it truly resonates with most people. The instructor said, "It's not how well you do the pose, it's who you are when you do it". Wow! My interpretation of this as it pertains to yoga poses is that everyday and every moment we are different, different thoughts, different feeling, different energy. Some days I walk into a yoga class and I'm ready to go, feeling excited, fresh, and optimistic. My practice is strong with each pose energized and reflecting my self at that point of time in my day. Other times I come in feeling tired, lacking motivation, maybe feeling weighted down. In those moments I don't attempt to push a powerful practice but rather motions that are more calm and gentle, giving myself freedom to just be there, without judgement. The practice should not be the same every time you show up, but rather a reflexion of who you are when you show up.

The concept obviously has direct parallel to our daily lives. Furthermore, by understanding more of who you are throughout our lives requires a turning inward and asking where you are at that time, in that moment, and are you being sincere to yourself and to others. I know this concept makes sense to people, everyone nods their heads, yea you get it but do you do it. I'm not free from inaccurately portraying myself at times and I struggle with being genuine all the time but meeting people who overtly and almost dramatically do not act or represent their true self makes having personal connections limited and meaningful relationships few. I just can't get past people not presenting their authentic self, and it's so obvious, I can only imagine the look on my face when I interact with these people. As I said in my last post, it's the guy/gal in the yoga class that is always trying to impress everyone with advanced postures and sacrificing form for the glory, that is not yoga, not in posture and not in spirit. Why do people embellish personal qualities, their achievements, and have strong attachments to trivial possessions? Maybe they can't go inside and realize they are special simply as they are. I'm disenchanted by these individuals but I don't entirely fault them, I chalk it up the the possibility that life (society, family, personal struggles) has influenced them and somewhere inside is that special child that once danced while everyone watched fearing no judgement in being nothing but organic. With that said, people have the tools for personal growth and rediscovery but it's challenging to ask some very intense questions and then face hard truths all for the benefit of loving oneself. I'll just say it again, being sincere to yourself and others requires you asking yourself the question, "who am I right now and am I representing that person", or are you escaping to be someone else? Its an awareness, it's a process, you'll never arrive but that shouldn't stop you from tying.

So, this concludes another episode of "Deep Thoughts" by Anna Pees. (Please look up that comedic reference if you are not familiar, too good!)

Last of my yoga talks, I'm headed to the beach next for a short stay to get certified in scuba diving then on to Singapore!

Anna

Tags: personal growth, ubud, yoga

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