Slow Flow Yoga
I was introduced to Sun Salutations during my first Vinyasa Flow class.
This was a series of movements that linked together with my breath and just when I thought I had it down, a variation would get tossed in and completely throw me off.
I felt awkward, weak, and starved for breath when I was learning it. I'd never done Yoga that kept moving. I was used to practicing postures and holding them In Hatha Yoga and Bikram Yoga classes.
Oh, and my arms! You would think a Massage Therapist would have powerful arms! They were the first thing to give out on me.
I really wanted to get this Yoga thing down and took a private lesson. My instructor drew stick figures for me to take home and practice with. I posted the drawing to the mirrors in my massage and meditation room and practiced the sequence over and over.
At that time in my life, I wasn't feeling too good about myself. I was fighting depression and anxiety...again, was in and out of a relationship that wasn't working, my weight was fluctuating up and down, and I was fatigued most the time. I was sleeping for hours at a time, day and night. My social life was zero and I was just pasting a smile on my face and going through the motions of life.
I knew Yoga was something that worked for me before and I was desperate to get results!
Fast forward to a few years later. I'm now a Yoga teacher and arrive at a Yoga studio to teach class and realized I left my class outline and notes at home. I was a new teacher and relied on those notes to refer to since I had not quite found my rhythm yet. Lucky for me, I did have a book with me from school and quickly outlined a new class complete with Sun Salutations and the dreaded variations.
This is when I first experimented with "Slow Flow." I deliberately slowed the sequence down and really tuned into how my body was feeling while linking slow, long breaths with each movement.
Wow! How different my body and life felt since that first Sun Salutation a few years before!
I noticed how much stronger my arms were, how I automatically engaged my muscles, and how I lengthened and evened up my breath as I connected it effortlessly to the movement of my body.
I had just touched the surface of Yoga and it significantly improved my life and my relationship with my body.
Yoga is so much more than the physical postures and stretching. I didn't realize how much the meditative and philosophical aspects of Yoga would impact my practice.
Yoga is my lifestyle, not just a class I teach. I embrace this lifestyle as I embrace my relationship with my body. My healthier, stronger, always improving body.
I know the state of my body is a direct reflection of the state of my mind. I know that as long as I stay consistent and make small improvements, my body will keep improving.
I feel healthier, stronger, happier, calmer, and more optimistic.
I know that studying and living the Yoga Sutras, all the things that don't support me in my life will fall away or lose their significance.
It's happening now and I am grateful.