I can be a tense person. I have been told my energy vibrates on a higher frequency. Some would say I’m high-strung. I move a lot. This can be good for my athletic career, but it means I can’t stop fidgeting. It becomes destructive when I pick at my cuticles. My mind spins. I cling to thoughts. When I try to fall asleep I literally cringe as my fears and embarrassments sneak up and poke at my consciousness.
Seven months ago I begun a 9 month yoga study program. I’ve been studying to understand what is yoga and what it is to me.
When I first started I was overly excited and serious – 1st yoga post
Then I discovered what an awkward and unnatural yogi I was. – 2nd yoga post
Two months in I was cross-eyed with the complexities and contradictions – 3rd yoga post
I tried lots of types of yoga; ancient traditions and modern twists. I figured my athletic rigorous nature would make me a good candidate for Ashtanga (lots of moving) or Iyengar (precision). I also tried Kundalini, Jivamukti, Yin, Kripalu, and more. Sometimes it was blissful and sometimes it was just irritating.
This is what I’ve learned.
- Yoga can be, but is not inherently a workout. Or for bendy people.
- Yoga is the intentional yoking of mind and body to find internal harmony and balance.
- People need different things at different times to find balance.
Sometimes people need more movement, energy, and strength.
Sometimes people need more grounding, calming, and nurturing.
My yoga practice helps me find the places I am physically and emotionally off balance. For me that often means soothing frayed nerves and releasing overworked muscles. Trusting that when I let go I won’t fall apart.
I now practice Yin Yoga 2-3 times a week. Yin Yoga is about yielding, releasing, trusting, and staying. It is quiet and humble. It is the antithesis of my moving, striving, holding, analyzing, correcting, life.
Your yoga might be entirely different, but it should make you more balanced.