in july, i had been recovering from pneumonia. i was diagnosed two days after returning from our honeymoon in south africa. it slowed…..me……..down. it affected my summertime work, my house to-do-lists and the most impact i have seen has been in my workouts.
yoga should not have this problem, right? yoga should be steady and completed with a lot of breath.
i do not do a whole lot slowly in my life.
yet, this summer, my body, my lungs and if i had been listening, my soul, were saying “you must slow down.”
initially, as you might guess, i did not listen, i powered through. i sweated, i ashtanga-d myself to death. i mountain biked. i ran. i cross-trained. then, i would wind up barely able to walk up stairs in my home.
not surprisingly, i relapsed.
at the time, my yoga instructor said, “slow down your practice.”
i blinked at her, silently.
as a vinyasa lover, i am not sure what she meant. i am not sure how she meant. and, sadly, i did not listen to her. as a result, i actually powered through practice, breathed HARDER and wound up on a month’s worth of steroids to open my body back up and make my lungs work properly.
not what ideally, i would have wanted.
now, three months later, and two months of yoga teacher training under my belt, i realize what she meant.i am slowing down my practice in classes with my trainer. i am breathing more appropriately (we are just touching the surface of pranayama). i am also studying in a Iyengar style class (precision is at the heart of this practice).
i am slowing down.
and, as a result, i am opening up. today, i stayed later and discussed with my teacher how much space i am feeling in my body as i open up to the correct alignment and breath (surprisingly difficult to teach one’s self with a mostly at home practice). i am also meditating daily and practically every area of my life is affected positively by this newfound shift in my life. my eyebrows are currently super raised up in expressiveness of this very newfoundness. (it’s all so exciting!)
what do we learn from slowing down:
-awareness- where you are RIGHT NOW is alive, this is the point
-alignment- injury is less-likely when one slows down and observes the intricacies of a pose
-meditation- i could go on. and on. the lessening of anxiety, the increased awareness (see above)
-breath- oh yeah, remember to breathe! our modern life leaves us very gasping, as it whirls around us
-joy- there is SUCH an added joy from this awareness!
oh yeah, and this awareness, this present-ness—–this is yoga.