10 Jun 365 Days of Light on Yoga – What an Incredible Journey!
365 Days of Light on Yoga. When I started out on this this Year-long journey, I had no idea what I was in for. I had no idea how HARD it would be to complete. But, I DID know it would be a life altering experience.
The first half of this year long journey was spent at my old home in Stockton where I taught yoga at a lovely little studio, Vinyasa Flow Yoga, and worked the rest of the time at a Japanese food restaurant called Cocoro. Every month and a half I would drive to Los Angeles to complete a 500 Hour Teacher Training program with my yoga teacher, Noah Mazé. Then………….my husband took a new job and within a month we had moved clear across the state to Los Angeles. My husband had a new job; I did not. I was going in completely blind, and I feel so LUCKY (and yes, I do mean lucky) that I landed on my feet. Now we are living in Los Angeles and I work for my yoga teacher’s company and teach at a lovely little studio called Urth Yoga.
I know it sounds corny and even cliché, but I love yoga. To be able to pursue my dream of a career as a yoga teacher is nothing short of incredible. When I look back over this last year I am awestruck. Truth be told, it is all a bit of a blur. The 365 Days of Light on Yoga blog project is one of the few things that helped to keep me grounded. It was my strength, my constant in an ever-changing world.
And this begs the question: What wisdom did I gain, what insights did I garner, what lessons did Light on Yoga teach me?
1. It taught me that the path to mastery depends on dedication. I have more of a love and appreciation of yoga than ever before, and I am completely in awe of the yogis (like B.K.S. Iyengar) who have mastered this practice. It is an art form that is in my mind unparalleled because it is self-nurturing and self-sustaining. It teaches you so much about yourself and about life.
2. Yoga practice can be much more powerful when you go after all of the poses — even the ones you DON’T LIKE. This project has helped me to realize that there are a lot of postures I don’t practice very often and even avoid. I came to see the value and beauty in the postures I dislike (or even hate!). And, I have a much stronger yoga practice as a result.
3. It is important to make goals and to see things through until you have met those goals. Yet, it is equally as important to not be rigid about the path by which you get there. I had to change my original plan for this blog several times to be able to make it through all of Light on Yoga. I learned that the most important thing is reaching your destination. To try to control the means is futile.
4. There is not near enough reverence for humility. In this crazy world we live in, we worry far too much about ourselves – about our worth; about our contribution, our mark on this world. We should often take the opportunity to humble ourselves. The strength of pride is a mirage; an illusion. The strength of humility is far greater.
5. We would also do well to recognize your worth. To be human is to be unfinished, imperfect, so it is important to be humble. But, to be human is also powerful. This world and this life isn’t perfect, but the second you start to believe you are powerless, YOU WILL BE. So, believe that you can and believe you are powerful….because YOU ARE.
6. AIM HIGH. I have greatly benefited from the goal of making it through all of Light on Yoga. Many of the poses were just a little beyond my reach and any little bit of progress I made in them was incredibly EMPOWERING!
7. AIM HIGH – PART 2. Because it is empowering to go after poses and make progress in poses that are a little beyond your reach, I like to challenge my students to do the same. However………you have to be careful about the manner in which you go about this. Which brings me to my next point…..
8. YOU CAN’T BE TOO CLEAR. Students are much less likely to go after an unfamiliar pose if you don’t MAKE THEM FEEL SAFE. Clarity is of utmost importance. Talk them through every little nuance. You will think you are saying too much, but I assure you, you are not.
9. MEET YOUR STUDENTS WHERE THEY ARE AT. It is important to really see your students and meet them where they are at. This often means that you will have to adjust your plan for class. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t challenge them to go further. Give them THE NEXT STEP (not something 10 steps down the road) for forward progress.
10. YOGA WORKS BEST WHEN YOU PRACTICE REGULARLY. When life gets busy (like mine has), it is hard to make time for your practice. It is better to practice a little every day than a lot once a week. Even 5 minutes makes a huge difference.
And now, I will complete this journey with the last two poses in Light on Yoga: Natarajasana and Savasana.
Natarajasana is a very challenging pose, which is likely why it is placed at the very end of Light on Yoga. It is the first pose I took a picture of for this project. It is the featured image for every blog post. And it is amazing how much easier this posture feels one year later.
And Savasana……a perfect end to a wonderful journey.
Thank you for following me on this journey. I promise it is not the end. Stay posted for the plan for my next blog. And until then live well, love deeply and above all PRACTICE YOGA!
With love and gratitude,