Flexibility and Tolerance
One of the benefits of a regular yoga and meditation practice is developing flexibility and tolerance. I love that students might start practicing yoga with me because they want to improve their physical flexibility. I'll let them think that is what's going OM... But it's far more than that.
In my recent 10 week yoga and meditation course we had so much fun, visiting challenging postures and at times, getting a little hot and bothered in the process. I love teaching group sessions because of the atmosphere, and when things were getting tricky in a session, I explicitly named it. I said how exciting the postures can be, but also how they can be a bit agitating (it might even be that the students are a teeny tiny bit annoyed with me for the sequencing).
It's all designed with intention and purpose. Sometimes as a yoga teacher my role is to use challenging postures as a form of mindful exposure therapy. I invite people into a chair pose and they witness their mental reactions as they stay there. Classic reactions include a desire to escape, self judgement and fear, especially concerning how long the experience will last. By naming what was going on, I help students to notice their reactions. Where their mind goes when they're in a bit of difficulty. And I remind them they have choice; they can rest, find a place of relief or they can enjoy the posture, because soon enough it will be gone and forgotten.
One of the reasons yoga is a practice of self healing is the dance we take between challenge and recovery.
I'll intelligently sequence us into tricky places and then we dance off to more restful places. Each time we move into challenge and away again, we develop a flexible and tolerant nervous system. It's going to make yoga really enjoyable, it really does become a dance not a wrestling match...
But more than that, your nervous system becomes more resilient, you can roll with the punches, go with the flow and respond to the real life challenges.
2020 had a ton of them, let's hope there are fewer in 2021 huh? There's time to join me in my 10 week yoga and meditation course. Click here for details.
If you'd like to understand the deep work we do as students, have a look at my 200 hour yoga teacher training course. First and foremost it's programme of self development.