My Yoga Journal: February 13

{Written after a full day of YTT plus an extra class. One month left!}
I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m a pretty stereotypical vinyasa junkie. I’m addicted to movement. I’m not a fan of holding poses for more than a few breaths. Trying a new arm balance or practicing inversions are my favourite parts of class. And I used to measure how good a class was based on four things: 

  1. How much I sweat.
  2. How sore was the next day.
  3. My progress in arm balances or inversions. 
  4. Or (maybe) how relaxed I felt afterwards. 

Needless to say, I’ve grown in my yoga practice since then. Not that any of those things are inherently bad. But I’ve matured to the place where my yoga practice is no longer quite so superficial. And a big catalyst in that was an injury that literally forced me to slow down. It’s been over 8 months since I’ve been able to do chaturanga which is a pretty staple pose we do in a vinyasa. Which, as much as it sucks, may have actually been the best thing to happen for my yoga practice (but more on that another time). 

So coming from my stereotypical-always-moving-vinyasa-junkie mindset, when I saw on the schedule for yoga teacher training today that we were learning about restorative yoga I wasn’t too terribly thrilled. Not that I didn’t want to learn about it, I just thought I’ll probably fall asleep (which has been happening all too often in my yoga classes lately…). 

When the teacher, Hunter, arrived, she jumped right in, showing us which props we’d need (hint: it was all of them) and getting us started warming up. I had done a few of the support poses before, but most of them were new versions of traditional poses that required way more set up then I was used to. As Hunter walked us deeper and deeper into this restorative practice, I found myself sinking more and more into the poses. Not every pose was super comfortable (which is starting to confirm my suspicious of low back issues… I swear I’m only 22), but on a whole, it was rejuvenating. After getting sick last fall, I still have not 100% recovered yet and have found myself dozing off multiple times during meditation sessions or svanasa (the resting part at the end of class). But after this restorative practice (which I assumed would have had the same effect), I was more awake, alert, and relaxed than I had been all day. 

The big lesson I took away today is that we all need to slow down and give our bodies some extra love. My attitude of push-my-body-as-far-as-I-can has left me dealing with multiple injuries/issues. Am I going to stop attempting what some people may consider crazy poses? No. But I am going to practice more safely and give my body the rest and care it needs. Balance is the key. 

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