Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Promise of Yoga

I had been having some thoughts about the future which had been affecting me but was determined to push them aside when I went into the Hatha 1.5 class last Friday.  However, when the class started, my mind was still wandering and I almost stumbled when I jumped into Tadasana from Downward Dog during the first Sun Salutation.  

As the class progressed, my mind started to calm down as I focused on my breathing.  And I was able to concentrate and pay attention to Azmi’s instructions to go into the poses which helped me to go deeper.  The chest opening and twisting poses and backbends were just what I needed as it cultivated into awareness of being opened in my relationships and staying in the present moment.  The poses also reminded me that whatever will be will be and to accept that there will be things I need to let go.

As I laid down in savasana, a wave of feelings flooded through me and tears were rolling down my face which I couldn’t control.   When Azmi gave the instructions for us to come out from Savasana, the tears had stopped and I felt so light hearted and relieved.  It was as if a heavy load has been lifted from my chest and I am ready to face whatever changes that may come.

This has always been the promise of yoga for me when I commit myself to the practice; bringing me relieve in times of stress and anxiety and helping me to grow and find inner peace.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Kino MacGregor's Workshops in Singapore

After hearing from Azmi that Kino MacGregor was coming to Singapore (my neighbouring country), I went to Kino’s website to check on her schedule and what she would be teaching.   

When I found out that she would be doing three workshops which would be held during the last weekend of April and on 1st May which is a public holiday for Labour Day, I posted on my Facebook status  asking if any of my yoga buddies were interested to go to the workshops with me.  

One of my yoga buddies responded and we have both registered for the workshops and have made our flight and hotel bookings.   

I am really looking forward to learning from Kino in person the techniques that she has been posting in her Youtube channel

"Regardless of your intention when you plants the first seeds of your lotus flower the transformative power of this ancient spiritual science works on a deep level of your being.  Many people start yoga for fitness only to find that yoga changes their lives in ways far beyond the physical." - Kino MacGregor (quote from her interview with MindBodyGreen

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Learning from Teacher's Assists and Falling in Headstand

This recent article from Kino MacGregor in Elephant Journal touched on how we should learn to let go of the need to “get” something from the teacher or the class. She wrote that if we rely on getting adjustments and attention from our teachers in order to have a good practice, then we will always be focused on an external source for our own development.

I totally agree with her on this but being adjusted or having the teacher assist us in the poses will help us in our learning process. When you are being assisted by the teacher, you should always pay attention to the teacher’s cues to help you move deeper in the pose.

By remembering my teacher, Azmi’s instructions on the breathing during his assists; inhaling to stretch into the pose and exhaling to move deeper into the pose and how leaning against his knees I am able to open the chest more, I found that I am able to go deeper on my own the next time I do the pose.

Kino also wrote about learning to fall in order to develop the kind of self-confidence that it takes to master the posture on our own. I can relate to this as I have fallen many times in headstand before I managed to master the pose.

When I started doing headstand, I would go to the wall and would end up placing my legs on the wall to keep myself in the pose. I found that I would rely on the wall and had difficulty lifting my legs from the wall once I am in the pose.

So, I decided to do the pose in the middle of the room instead. I would be able to go into the pose but would need my teacher to hold my legs up and when he takes his hand off, I would start to waver and start crashing down like a falling tree. After falling a few times, I learned to find my balance and managed to keep myself up for a few breaths.

The teacher is there to guide us and assist in the pose but it is up to us to keep finding our own center and our awareness on how we feel in the pose.

On a side note, this was posted by Peg Mulqueen and it would be nice to fill up one of this each time we go to class.