In this 90 minute class, I build upon some of the material that I will be exploring during my March retreat. The class will grow from a seated meditation into some longer yin style poses and eventually towards more challenging asanas. Take this class as a way to discover your limits, and soften your mental and physical boundaries. Your hips and lower back will thank you, and you will get a tiny glimpse of what I have planned for the retreat.
You will need a block, a strap, and a wall to place the short end of your mat.
A large part of the art and skill in a yoga practice is the ability to sense how far one can move in a stretch. If there is no challenge in a pose, no intensity or stretch, then there will be little possibility for opening. The opposite approach of going too far in a pose, increases the possibility for pain and injury to occur. Somewhere between these two places is a happy middle ground. It is possible to find a degree of stretch that is in balance. Where there is a challenge without pain. Where there is vigor without strain.
Experiencing this balance or middle ground relies on a high degree of sensitivity. This place in the stretch just before pain, but not pain itself, could be referred to as a your boundary. With heightened sensitivity, the boundary can soften and you will be able to feel more space in your poses. Pain tells you where the limits of your physical conditioning lie. The length of your stay is determined by your endurance limit, while your interest in a pose is a function of your attention.
Take this class as a way to play with all of these boundaries: endurance, strength, stretch, and mental attention. As you “play the edges of the boundaries”, your skill in yoga has little to do with your degree of flexibility. Rather it is a function of how sensitive you play with these limits.