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How Yoga Works

May 15 2018
May 15 2018

Sometimes I forget why I do yoga. And then sometimes I forget to do yoga. At least, I momentarily think that I have forgotten. The hidden truth is that once you’ve done hours upon years of moving and breathing, focusing and chanting, yoga often comes to you. I think philosophy upon waking. I become aware of my mind every time I pick up a glass of water or wait at a stop light. I move on my mat when my son sleeps and I breathe meaningfully to end the day. It’s not a public class or a private prescription but it works. Without a doubt, there can always be more or better but it’s working and that's something to stop and be excited about.

My body is like a car and now, after years of yoga and meditation, I finally feel I’ve fully read the whole owner’s manual. I still need a mechanic from time to time but I have my own basics covered. I can assess and improve my sleep, pain, mood, energy level, attitude, digestion, mobility and more with my daily dose of practice. I usually don’t think of it this way and I usually don’t plan it that way but this, when I take a step back, is what it is. This, is what it means to be taking care of myself, to be connecting my mind with my body and spirit. And it feels great.

Now, I don’t mean that I always feel great. I’m like everyone else, lots of up and down and neutral in-betweens. I mean that it feels great to know that I know, that my body and mind know, how to notice and manage themselves. That might be the natural order of things, but to me that’s incredible. If you’ve learned with me in the past, you may have caught on to the fact that I like to know how things work. I definitely do. That’s why my focus has been all about breaking practices down into their pieces and parts to see what makes them tick. I don’t just like to read the clock, I want to make it tock.

Over the last few years I’ve been building the research that answers my questions about yoga and makes up my course How Yoga Works. It’s 20 fast-paced hours of information and exploration as to which-things-do-what-why-when-and-how. I love it…and I think the students enjoy the ride too. One thing that’s emerged from the process is that naming the effects of the pieces and parts of practice has made the small stuff even bigger in my life and anecdotally in the lives of the students. For example, it’s become par for the course for me to hear: “I’ve been doing yoga for ten years and I felt pretty good but now that I’ve looked at different aspects of the practice individually, I am sleeping so much better!”

Sleeping. Relating. Feeling. I’ve heard them all and I’ve seen them on my own mat. This course is for those who want to know why we cry in savasana or how to breathe before a big presentation. It’s also for those who simply want to remember why they came to yoga in the first place. It may seem like a lot of physiology and neurology (and it is!) but it’s also a way to slow down and sample the simple ingredients that make up the more complex practices that many of us do.

Personally, I dove into yoga to help my mood and popped my head up years later to realize how a tailored practice is much more powerful than a dunk. It was back to the square just beyond one. This course is all about re-learning how to swim and why we should even bother jumping in the pool in the first place. It will be refreshing for seasoned practitioners, enlightening for new ones and very practical for all asana teachers. Love or pre-existing knowledge of body science is not required; I will bring enough for everyone.

Please join me on June 2-3 & July 7-8 at Yoga Yoga North. Click here to register.


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