After completing the Yin Yoga Training with Bernie Clark this past summer, I saw the positive effects of finding depth in a pose and holding for time. (Read the full article here.) It opened my eyes, how important it is to stretch out and put specific stress on bones and ligaments, so they don't get weak over the years. I understood that because we have so much 'Yang' Energy in our lives already, so pressing the 'Pause' button sometimes makes us even stronger.
I saw how good it is for me to get consistent in my yin practice. If I am writing, texting, producing, working on ideas for 23 hours a day (ok, maybe only 15 hours, because I sleep 8 hours), I should really invest one hour of mindfulness a day. Meditation really improves concentration and memory, and yin on the mat is gold. Actually it's still a struggle to roll out the mat and finally do the practice, because yin can actually be really painful (the ones of you who do yin regularly know that the best feeling is coming out of a pose).
However, there is a reason why I was so drawn to Vinyasa Flows in the last months. I love moving on my mat and building up the fire that mirrors my life.
Vinyasa is a raise in energy, a short warm-up with Sun Salutations, followed by a couple or three flows depending on how long the class is, and a cool down. Every inhalation and exhalation is paired with a movement, sweating is normal and working to a peak pose is normal. These peaks can be known hatha asanas, they can also be more advanced with options to play. For example the switch from Koundinyasana 2 to Koundinyasana 1 was a great experience for me. I finally understood what the Mula Banda is and how light your upper body can feel.
And the ones that are close to me know it, I went through all emotions in these two weeks (don't ask) haha -
but let me share the things that I actually learned:
- To be successful in anything you need two things: Motivation & Inspiration.
Motivation: Is what you do to prepare, to make everything as easy as possible. If you want to lose weight, this would mean for example writing down what you eat every day to have an overview. If you want to start establishing a running routine, it would mean to prepare everything the night before, for example placing the running outfit, the garmin and the shoes, so getting up in the next morning and running is as easy as possible.
Inspiration: Well. If you don't have inspiration, your motivation will not bring you to your goal. Inspiration is the why? Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to run? Just looking good on a certain event will not be enough inspiration, trust me. It's similar to just running for a special half marathon. It won't be enough. You need to see the bigger picture, of being healthy, having a good time traveling to a race with your friends, or using running as a meditation.
- Fear comes up when you struggle with a pose on your mat (for example arm balances) or in life with a challenging situation. If we stop breathing deep and start judging ourselves because of the fear, the emotion becomes quite stressful and sends lots of unhealthy stress hormones out (Cortisol).
How do we deal with fear, how do we avoid fear? Well, to be honest, there is imo no solution on avoiding fear. It will always be part of your life. Dealing with it is easy when we accept that fear (especially fear of failure) is a part of our existence. It simply is there, not being judged into something good or bad, its just what it is. As soon as it is nothing that you try to avoid, your fear automatically loses the power to control your life.
Also, one little personal thing: Doing yoga at 7 am in the morning is great, it's just not for me, haha. Seems like I enjoy a slow start into the day with a lovely cup of tea more than moving a lot on the mat, for the next little while, I will switch back to my evening routine.
However, I'm really grateful for the experience, I learned a lot and I made some great connections, especially with people like Alyssa, Camilla or Helen, to name only a few of them.