Some time ago now my teacher — who doesn’t demo much in class — came and took side angle alongside me, exaggerating his breathing so it was audible to me; I matched my breath to his and all of a sudden he’d exhaled the front hand right down onto the ground, although mine usually mine stays in a more modest elbow-to-knee modification, or at best rests on a block by my front foot. Oh! How? I love moments like this! He somehow sees that I’m just a breath away from a fuller expression of a pose. And still it feels like magic.
I mentioned this to Hubby sometime recently. That I’d been exploring the power of the exhale, more consciously softening into depth as I allow the breath to flow out from my lungs. He looked at me incredulously with a look that clearly said ‘I can’t believe you’re only just now figuring this out’. Well, it’s one of those things that I understand all too clearly in my head, but getting my body to play along is a different game altogether. So much tension, so many years of holding myself together so I don’t fall apart.
And then another moment in class recently, this time in London with a teacher I’m only just starting to get to know. So the combo of unusual surroundings and unusual teacher was a recipe for physical tension for me. And I could feel it. But then as we were about to take Urdhva Dhanurasana and as usual my brain was second guessing whether this was a pose I was doing today, the music shifted to a very sing-y version of the mantra we’d begun the class with. We were invited to sing along. And boom — Urdhva Dhanurasana manifest! Just singing along with the mantra opened my heart, lifted me up and I was there, laughing upside-down, feeling strong in my body, Sanskrit vibrations flowing through me.
Yeah, yeah! Another bit of yoga magic! 🙂
I love it when in my regular class my teacher cranks up the volume of some Krishna Das or something and I just let the joy of it envelope me. I assume he’s encouraging everyone to feel the music rather than trying to drown out my happy but unmusical singing along! 🙂 At these moments everything softens, I smile, and I just breeze along with whatever asanas are cued. Aaahhhh, tension melts away.
So I’ve created my own happy playlist for home practice. 100% babycrow favourites. An eclectic mix by anyone’s standards, but then I’m not inflicting it on anyone else. It’s a rather clumsy way to invite some joy into my practice, to bring a smile to my face, and see if I can grin away — or sing away –some tension. We’ll see if it works!