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Showing posts from March, 2012

That Which Becomes Undeniable

Every few months I used to get an absolutely undeniable craving for a donut. I called it my "quarterly donut" and would always allow myself this indulgence, taking the following months to forget how awful my body always felt afterwards. As my yoga practice picked up, I began to change in ways obvious and subtle. Yoga does indeed work, that much is clear, but I still don't grasp exactly how. Somehow a flow of asanas translates into shifts in the internal environment that are separate and yet intimately linked to what happens to the physical body.

The first big change centered around food. Aside from a feeble attempt at a kitcheree cleanse one fall, I've never kept a special diet. I always allow myself to eat whatever I want, which used to entail a huge volume of empty calories. I stopped eating meat years before meaningfully engaging with my yoga practice, but would still crave it from time to time. As I linked breath to movement on the mat, I didn't consciously c…

If you waver, that just means you're really bad at life...and other falsities.

Today in yoga Austin asked us not to make it so hard. What we were doing felt hard (holding poses for so many breaths in 90 degree heat), but he asked us to stop telling ourselves it was hard and just let it be. Just be in it without making it any harder. Stop gripping your toes, clenching your jaw, holding your breath. Drop your shoulders. Smile. Breathe!

Like all yogic lessons, it's not really about yoga but about life (which is yoga for some of us). How many situations in life do we complicate significantly by making them harder than they actually are? How often do we hold our breath and grip fiercely when relaxing and letting go would serve us far better? Could we avoid frenzied emotional drama and instead stay neutral and calm?

This is what Austin teaches while we hang out for awhile and sweat in Warrior II- you don't have to be so dramatic about it. It's just yoga. He often jokes that if you waver or fall over in the pose, that just means you're really bad at yog…