Friday Five: Namaste

Is it stereotypical that I love yoga? I write, read, love to cook with fresh ingredients, eat avocados with a spoon… Maybe. But it fits me. I used to dance quite a bit, so traditional endurance or strength training exercise bores me, and peppy aerobics classes are fun on occasion but get rather annoying with frequent repetition. So, I do yoga.
     My brand of yoga is a blend between Hatha and Vinyasa, but I really don’t categorize. If I find something that I like, I incorporate it, regardless of the school. That being said, I do still have a spiritual connection with yoga (how can you not?) and different poses inspire different feelings and meanings.

1) Lotus (Padmasana)

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The lotus pose is my preferred meditation pose. ClichĂ©? Sure, but it works. It also is a pose I am naturally inclined to — I have always been quite flexible, and the lotus came easily for me, which I am very grateful for.

2) Warrior II (Virabhadra)

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There is so much strength in all of the warrior poses, but in this one I feel the most like a tribal woman warrior, in tune with my own body and self-assured, ready to conquer whatever comes my way. I especially like the visual of flattening myself in between two panels of glass, becoming a perfectly straight, thin line. The alignment in this pose makes me feel very focused and invigorated.

3) The Crane (Bakasana)

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The crane is my current challenge. It was only introduced to me tonight, and I have taken it upon myself to perfect it. I have never had much upper body strength so it will be difficult, but I have faith. This pose, to me, is a dream that I know I can realize, and dreams like that are so integral to self-development.

4) Tree pose (Vrishka-asana)

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Speaking of challenges, for all of my dance experience, I still seem to have more difficulty with most with balance. Just ask my friends, I’m a klutz. The tree pose represents an ongoing challenge I face with my body, that I may never completely overcome, but that I can still disguise with grace (in yoga if not real life!).

5) Shoulder stand (Salamba Sarvangasana)

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There is something beautiful about a world turned upside down. The first time I attempted a shoulder stand, I was struck at how far above my head my feet were, although they weren’t even as far as they were from my eyes normally! I love the shoulder stand because it forces my body to act and my mind to look at the world differently (and it’s not as hard as an actual headstand!).

My yoga may be simplistic — I know very well that I’m not an expert — but I am happy where I am because I know I am moving forward. With yoga, I will never be stuck in a rut. There is always room for improvement, always something new to learn, and always a smile at the end of each practice. Namaste!

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