Thursday, July 17, 2008
In the August issue of FitYoga there is an article on freestyle yoga which resonated deeply with what I have been feeling lately. I love doing my yoga dvds but I often find myself wishing I could stay in an asana for a little longer or I may like an asana on one dvd but not necessarily want to do the entire practice. But it is not easy to pause a dvd and stay in the moment of the yoga. Which is why the idea of doing yoga more intuitively immediately appealed to me because this is what I have been feeling I need. While I love and recognize that I need the structure of a formalized class, whether it is held in a yoga studio or recorded on a dvd or streamed online, I can hear my body saying “Please, let’s stay here a little longer. We need this.” Then I misplaced the magazine and was unable to find anything online that matched what the article described. Freestyle yoga. Intuitive yoga. I searched for a few days and gave up. (Oddly, I began the search on the magazine’s website and found nothing helpful there which is unfortunate.) Luckily, I found the magazine (finally!) and was able to link to the website the writer of the article, Anne Jablonski has created which includes a wonderful article on the concept of freeform yoga. My plan is to begin approaching this style of yoga this weekend. I want to commit one day a week to doing yoga without a dvd playing in the background. (I often do the yoga with my eyes closed only looking at the dvd to see if I am doing what I think I should be doing. Some dvds have become so familiar that I no longer have to confirm that I am, indeed, in upward facing dog and not cobra.) I will go into the practice with certain asanas in mind. I would like very much to begin in Virasana and once I feel centered move into a sequence that feels right for me. I know that, for instance, I would like to do Dolphin Pose, a variation of Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog). I suppose going into the idea of a freeform practice with the intention of doing certain asanas but I trust myself enough to know that having a few asanas in mind won’t preclude my choosing what I feel I need to do at the moment. At least that is the plan. I know how my weekends usually go. I make plans to do something a certain way and something complicates things or disrupts it or . . . well, my silent retreat experience is a perfect example of what I mean. Still, I can tell that this is something I want and even need to do so if the weekend becomes so chaotic that I can’t make it happen, I’ll just try to hit the ground running on Monday. Or should that be hit the yoga mat mindfully?