Friday, August 30, 2013

My First Self-Instructed Yoga Flow

Though I have been doing yoga for many years and am planning on obtaining my teaching certification after I raise enough funds, never had I strayed away from the instruction of another teacher during my practice. Always, I either have gone to a studio and enjoyed a live class, or used videos or pod-casts online or on DVDs.

I think it was the inner perfectionist inside that prevented me from ever taking the initiative to guide MYSELF during a practice, instead of listening to someone else. What if I did the asanas in the wrong order? What if I left something out, I didn't take enough breaths in a pose, or rushed the pose... pretty much any excuse that I could come up with to satisfy my nervous self, I used. 

I also think that a reason I couldn't even fathom the idea of not using an actual class as guidance, is because I felt that if I relied on myself... it wouldn't "really" count as being a "real" yoga flow. After all, who am I to feel out the sequence, when there are teachers who are experienced to do that? 

I know this goes against everything yoga is about. Yoga is NOT about relying on an outside source for guidance. Yoga is NOT about judging yourself, and your ability to feel and understand your body. Yoga IS about listening to your body. It IS about relishing in the moment, not being judgmental in any way, and taking life as it comes, being sure to enjoy the process of ups and downs and trust in the universe and it's constant stream of energy.  

Me thinking that I couldn't go without a video or classroom to embrace a flow of yoga is not only incredibly shallow minded, but also untrue. What makes me unable to put together a vinyasa for myself? Granted, things would be different if I no clue what I was doing, but I have been doing this sport for a while and am familiar with the usual sequence of things, and which poses I like to see in a class, ext. Yoga is not about being perfect. I am not perfect. So what is stopping me other than myself? 

This is what went down. 
By the way, this flow is NOT the flow I did on my recent Power Yoga workout video on Youtube. This happened before that.

I schedule my weight training workouts and yoga days in alignment with each other so that my yoga days act as active rest. While I was out of town visiting my grandmother and camping, I had it planned so that I would be doing yoga the day before we left for the camp grounds. In other words, we would still be located at my grandmothers house, therefor I expected to have internet connection and the ability to look up a yoga video.

This didn't happen. While my grandmother doesn't live in the woods or anything, she still lives in the country. Her computer doesn't work well, and even though my phone's wifi also messes up more than it works in this area, I rely on it for any videos I need. It's always a 50/50 chance if they're going to work. When I am doing weight training and a video decides to not load, I can always put together my own workout without thinking twice.I never had to do this with a yoga video, luckily.

However, come that morning, I pulled up the video on my phone and it failed to load. At first I panicked, as the thought of not having a voice of instruction scared me. But then, after thinking a bit and confiding in my family of the dilemma, I was convinced that I would be able to lead myself perfectly fine. So... I did! 

No music, no video, no pod cast. I took my mat outside, rolled it out, and started my Power Yoga sequence in the pure bliss of nature. I did not speak. I heard no other human voices. The only noise in my ears was the sounds of birds chirping, the breeze of the wind, and the pounding of my heart of depth of my breathing. It was beautiful. 

What was first a sequence I was nervous about, turned into a 75 minute flow that was invigorating, fast paced, challenging... and utterly produced from my own being. No teacher, no one to rely on to know when to move on to the next move... just me. 

The feeling I had after the flow was similar to pride, but very much different. It was not pride. I think it was the feeling of pure happiness, shock, and bliss. I was ECSTATIC about what I had just done. I was thrilled that I was able to conduct a flow all by myself. I was not prideful, exactly... I was just very, very grateful.

This experience has strengthened my belief that I want to become a yoga instructor. I felt the flow came so naturally, with such power and grace, that I can not wait to share this great joy with others. I know for sure that this is not the only time in which I will have a great realization, but it is definitely a start, and makes me excited to see what else is in store for me. 

From this, I came to a better understanding of what it means to trust in yourself. Yoga can be difficult at times, because it causes you to come face to face with your greatest fears and irrational thoughts. However, with dedication and time, these things can be overcome, and a new perspective is grown and adapted. This is what I love about yoga-it's never ending ability to be so personal to each individual and their needs at a specific time.  

For all the yoga instructors out there, or other practitioners, when was your first major realization of something? 

When was the first time you led your own sequence, or class, and how did it feel?

Any tips or words of wisdom that I, or other readers could benefit from are gladly appreciated! 



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