Listen up. Your brain (and body) LOOOVE repetition and becoming good at one particular thing. They love habits, comfort, routines and things it can rely on over and over again.
Let's put it this way: in this context, your brain would be the most faithful partner... if it was a person.
And yet, with that repetition, with that comfort, with routines there come risks. Risks of staying in the same place forever, perhaps wondering about the future sometimes but not reaaaally planning on making a change. Risks of getting injured whenever something out of ordinary comes along.
If that's how you approach yoga on the mat - with you body and brain "replaying" the flow on the autopilot, then you strip yourself of endless possibilities that come from exploration.
In my opinion, being a great yoga teacher for ourselves requires an effort. An effort not to always fall in the same schemes we are so familiar with. An effort to go beyond what's comfortable. An effort to use the lessons we've learned to further explore what's out there.
On, AND OFF, the mat.
So let’s start with Surya Namaskar A.
Sun Salutation A.
You know it, you’ve done it more times than you could possibly count. Your body is used to the movements. Your mind is chilled because it doesn’t need to “remember” anything new.
But what if you gave it a challenge?
What if instead of Tadasana, Uttanasana, Ardho Uttanasana and Phalakasana you could pause in Uttanasana (Forward fold) and sway the body left and right… let it loose?
Can you place the hands down to the floor but instead of Plank pose, bend the knees, come onto the balls of the feet and make a tiny ball of yourself while squatting? Where does the body want to go next? Into Downward Facing Dog? I doubt it.
But hey, if it does, let it! Let’s see what happens next.
I like to use an analogy of being hungry. When you are really hungry, you use the least amount of energy on extra activities. You are only thinking about being done with whatever you have to get done, and then EATING. You become sluggish. Or hangry, if you are like me :’) Your autopilot turns on and you’re trying to get some food as soon as possible to let your body rest. Don’t be skimpy...
Give your mind something to eat, too
Don’t starve it by repeating the same sequences over and over again. Don’t let it go into sluggish or annoyed mode. In yoga asanas there is time for repetition but if you want to unlock creativity and fluidity, this time is NOT now.
Want more tips and guidance on how to #BeYourOwnYogaTeacher?
Join my new programme consisting of 4 workshops:
Can’t “feel” your body in space? Join on October 23rd, 1PM Warsaw time
Not confident enough to modify asanas for yourself? Join November 20th, 1PM Warsaw time
Always doing the same poses? Join on December 11th
Apply everything you’ve learned: Deconstruct a pose/a flow. Join January 8th 2022