For a long, long time I was unable to do the level 2 classes due to a chronic injury. I spent many hours in classes going deep and slow. As my body healed and became stronger, I craved the more challenging vinyasana practices and left my gentle practice to, well, rest awhile.
Today though, I choose the only class a particular teacher was offering that fit my schedule, which happened to be a gentle yoga. Being a lunar eclipse and the beginning of spring, I’ve been feeling the energetic surge of change and transition. The gentle yoga turned out to be perfect.
The teacher is incredibly knowledgeable. Her voice smooth as silk. She encouraged instead of commanded, offered suggestions based on her own habitual patterns that need surrendering (which made me feel less guilty when I caught myself doing it). She recognized people by name. The truth is how much you get out of class comes from how much you put in.
We slowly transitioned from asana to asana allowing for mindful stretching. I deepened and slowed my breath to maximize my experience in each asana. Settling in, exploring my physical boundaries- how far I could stretch before the discomfort began, backing off 10% and slowly move deeper into it with each exhale. I let the floor support me and gravity assist me where I could.
As we settled into the savasana, I realized what a kindness I had offered to myself by being there on the mat. It was rejuvenating, healing, and nurturing. I allowed myself to simply feel good. There was no room for guilt and shame for taking time out of my day to go to class.
This is a gift, not only to me, but to the world around me. If I am taking care of me, I have more reserves to help others. If I am kind to myself, I am more patient, compassionate, and kind to others. By releasing my stress, I am more relaxed around others, especially in those moments that aren’t so relaxing!
How are you taking time for yourself? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Here’s a little full moon meditation for those of you who have less than 5 minutes for yourself today. Namaste.