Weekend #4 Word: Awareness
After surrendering last weekend, it was time to become very aware. In an effort to not hurt like I did last weekend, I was incredibly aware of my knee. I paid attention to it and thought ahead as much as I could.
Chair Yoga is Not My Fav
I truly believe there is a time and place for chair yoga. I think it can be helpful to so many people and I applaud each and every person who participates. The reason for this...I tried it this weekend. Picture this: everyone else in the class is standing on their mats, practicing while I was sitting in a chair. I really didn’t like it. I have so many other words for it but I will stick with “really didn’t like it” for now.
I will say that it’s likely that 99% of me not liking it was mental. I was frustrated that I couldn’t stand. I was in my head the whole time. All I could think was “I want to stand up, move this freaking chair off my mat and practice like I want to”. Obviously this lead to a rough practice for me. Rough is probably an understatement. If I had a picture of my face I am sure it would say 1,000 words, several of them being 4-letters.
Awareness leads to tears sometimes
I was looking forward to that savasana more than I ever have. That meant I would be able to move that dang chair off my mat and lay down. I was SO ready! But then something happened that I have never experienced before. I cried in savasana. I have witnessed it before, I have heard teachers talking about it but never has it happened to me. But sure enough, after the most frustrating practice I have ever experienced, I experienced the sweetest savasana.
There sure is a lot to that statement, right?! After frustration, comes awareness, which is followed by a sweetness and vulnerability. There I was lying on my mat, tears streaming down my face. The frustration melted away.
The Awareness of Others
Another really interesting thing that happened due to my frustrating chair practice was how others responded. I’ve said it before and will continue to but I am in my 200 hour yoga teacher training with an amazing group of people. I was approached by several of my fellow students and they said things like:
“Good for you for listening to your body”
“You had the best chair pose in class”
“I am so proud of you for sticking with the chair the whole practice”
“Great job using the chair in practice”
“You looked really strong using the chair”
Seriously, I could cry again thinking about it. There I was frustrated as all get out, beating myself up while others looked on thinking of how strong I was. What an amazing metaphor for life. So many feelings this weekend as you can tell.
Awareness of My Breath
It wasn’t all chair yoga for me this past weekend though. We focused on the spine some more and a lot on Pranayama. Awareness of my breath was an eye-opener as well. I have been practicing meditation daily for about a year now and I feel pretty aware of my breath but this weekend truly opened my eyes. We learned some new techniques and I have a new favorite!!!
Breath of Joy is My Jam!!!
It’s so good! I cannot wait to teach others this breath technique and help others with this. How amazing that we can invite joy into ourselves just by breathing in a certain way and doing some movement too. I really enjoyed it.
We learned 3 other techniques as well and I was incredibly aware when I didn’t enjoy a technique too. Kapalabhati is not my jam, at least not today. Isn’t it funny how one technique can feel so good and another can feel not good? Maybe it’s not for me today or not for me ever but being aware of how my body reacted was a neat experience.
Overall, I was aware of a lot this weekend. Mostly, I am aware of what an incredible experience I am having in yoga teacher training, surrounded by the best teachers and fellow students. I am truly blessed with the friends I am making and the education I am gaining.