by Clare Moore – Yoga Team Leader
“I really want to try yoga, but I am: too stiff, too injured, too old , too busy, too impatient, too uncoordinated, too unbalanced, too self-concious….” As a yoga teacher I have heard variations on all of these themes. And my answer is generally, “ I can totally relate!” Especially before, and even while participating in, a yoga practice, all of these feelings may surface. When we take the time to notice the sensations of our body and mind, to become a witness to the vessel that we inhabit, we can become self-critical. Our busy brain analyzes the creaky knee as, “Well, I am just falling apart here.” Our wobbly warrior makes us think, “I am so clumsy!” We catch ourselves inhaling as the teacher says exhale and internalize, “ I can’t even breathe right!” These are the stories that we tell ourselves that may prevent us from ever getting on the mat, and then, once we are practicing, the stories that still haunt us, and shame us, and get under our skin.
And yet, your yoga practice meets you exactly where you are. Your yoga practice lives in your unique body with all of its “charms” and in your heart, and busy brain, and breath, and intentions. You having a yoga practice is not “You doing Yoga” , but instead, “Yoga doing You”. Imagine if you walked into a bookstore and saw on the shelf, “Yoga for People with Stiff Knees, Short Breath, and an Old Shoulder Injury”, or “Yoga for People who are frequently Bored In Yoga Classes, Fall Over Easily, and Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome”. Would it make you realize that you, even you, could do yoga? Your yoga practice’s purpose is practice. What? I’ll say it again, your yoga practice’s purpose is to get you to practice. You practice breathing easily and with intentions, you practice balance, you practice replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, and Everyone (especially you) can do this. Have you ever heard of a “Yoga Perfect”? Nope? Me neither, because it is a Yoga Practice.
We began the 30 days of Yoga at Tone to encourage this practice. We believe that committing to a daily practice for thirty days will begin to enact all of the lovely benefits that yoga can provide for you. When you practice regularly at anything, you become more at ease with it. Easier breath, easier mind, easier heart, and who knows, maybe easier knees and hamstrings. It is also heartening to look, or listen to the breath around the room, and witness your fellow practitioners working to invite positivity, and release that which does not serve them. It is our hope that the completion of thirty days of practice puts that little spring in your step that encourages you to keep on walking into your yoga practice.
Need more convincing that yoga is for you? I did! Try a Private Yoga Session with one of the Tone teachers, (also offered in our Warrior III package) and they will work with you to design a yoga practice that has your name and your needs on it and in it. Having a personal yoga practice designed for me feels like an incredible luxury, that I take with me always, and use whenever I need it. Tone Yoga teachers all love a challenge and have never been stumped, so don’t be shy, be specific about your needs, and you will walk away with a practice that will have you eager to roll out your mat and get practicing.
We are honored that you have chosen Tone to serve your yoga needs in your yoga practice, and we would love you to join us in your 30 day commitment. As my (and your) Yoga teacher, Monica Anderson says, “Yoga is Sustained Joy for You!”, so let’s en-joy practicing together!