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The Lotus of Yoga

To say this past weekend’s yoga teacher training changed my life is an exaggeration and yet it’s true.  Just as moving a table in the living room can change the whole decor, I experienced small changes in my body, emotions and thought that are rippling through my whole self.

The way I approach my yoga mat is new.  The way I dance is new.  The way I walk is new.  The way I practice Combattitude is new.

Even deeper than that, I feel different in the world.  I feel grounded and strong; at peace and brave; alert and relaxed; and connected and independent.

So what magic occurred that brought on such change?

Diving deep and surrendering into my yoga practice from the foundation of my yoga and dance practices.

Just like a deep massage is painful, our practice went deep into painful area of my body but relieved the tension and stagnation that had been chronic.  Our first practice opened and released the ribs, diaphragm and chest.  These areas are associated with the 3rd chakra (will) and 4th chakra (heart).

Through my dance work, I know how to use images to affect the body.  Gopi suggested to the class that we imagine a lotus blossoming behind the heart as we were in an intense backbend.  She assisted me in getting deeper into the backbend.  As I placed the lotus image behind my heart and she moved me deeper,  I felt an electric charge right in that spot behind my heart that dispersed through the rest of my body like a firework blossoming.  It’s a feeling I have felt before in acupuncture so I knew that an energetic channel had been opened.

Our second practice dove into opening the hips in all directions to prepare for lotus.  Resistance was strong in me during that practice.  I had trouble finding the breath.  The sensations in my hips were powerful.  As we held pigeon, a pose I usually enjoy, my mind taunted me with reasons I felt pain and why I should get out of the pose.  After a while, my whole body started to quake.  Tears came.  I did not give into Resistance’s badgering.

As it turns out, everyone had a similar experience.  Later, you could see that it had moved something in each of us.  Some felt impatient and a bit angry.  Others felt exhausted.  I felt incredibly calm and unperturbed.  I realized that I became a little more tolerate of discomfort and uncertainty that day.

I still feel this after two days.  Creativity has been flowing.  I suddenly feel ready to get back to performing.  That is pleasant surprise.

To be less than half way through this yoga teacher training and experience this kind of change excites the imagination of what’s to come.

Have you had a similar experience with yoga?  Or anything?  Please share in the comments below.

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