Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What to do when you arrive for yoga

First published in the Yoga Spirit Studios newsletter "On the Mat"

I don't know about you but my heart always lifts as I enter the yoga spaces we are so blessed to have a Yoga Spirit Studios. 

There is the sense of sacred space, which we honour by removing our shoes and never walking through it with shoes on. I love to attend class as just another student, coming into the space with reverence, preparing my space, quietly stretching a little and then lying down to relax and let go of the outside world in preparation for the practice.

This is an important aspect of the practice, this letting go of the rest of the busy life and preparing for the inward journey. Others around us are also making their preparations and we also need to honour their time to prepare.

  • Make sure your phone is off. Even a phone on silent will vibrate and the sound can be heard in the quietude of relaxation.
  • Perhaps if you have been knocking about the city in flip-flops or sandals, check if your feet are very dirty and freshen them up with a wipe beforehand. Great for you and helps keep the equipment hygenic for us all too.
  • Greet friends quietly, with a smile and only a whispered greeting - this is the time to prepare for the practice, arrange extra time for a coffee afterwards for the catch up and news.
  • Take your gear from the stacks, and arrange it neatly around your mat, keeping your space compact so others have room and the teacher will not trip over your stuff while walking around the room.
  • You may feel a need to stretch a little first or do some spinal rolls or somatic movements to release the body.
  • Before the class starts lie down in a comfortable position, maybe an opening restorative such as salamba-supta-baddha-kon-asana (supported reclined bound angle pose) and start to notice your breath, bringing your mind to noticing the breath carefully, perhaps counting it, so as to arrive fully to the practice.

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