- May 31, 2015
A few weeks ago a woman who I know came to my advanced yoga class for the first time. She was worried she wouldn’t be able to “keep up” thinking it would be quick and really difficult. After the class she mentioned that she loved the class and that although it was very tough it was slow and simple, many levels of practitioners could keep up. I keep seeing this woman every week and last week she gave me the best feedback. She said that the further she gets into the class the more ready her body feels for the upcoming movements, she said she feels stronger towards the end, rather than tired.
A couple days ago a teacher of mine and fellow movement enthusiast posted a quote online (Shawn Mozen of Agatsu) that really hit the nail on the head. This is what he had to say…
“If sweating were the best indicator of a good workout, tanning would be in the top five. Great training shouldn’t tear you down, it should build you up.”
Our bodies are meant to move, to lift heavy things, run, bend etc. Our bodies are also designed to last for upwards of 90 years or more. I think sometimes we get so caught up in “working hard” or “no grind no shine” mentality that we put our bodies through the ringer, leaving everything we have on the floor. This goes for gym goers but also yoga practitioners, runners etc.
The training we do should build us up, give us energy for the day, leave us feeling strong and mobile rather than in a puddle on the couch. For the average person who is not going to be a world champion athlete I think we need to really look inside and ask ourselves how we feel every day. Is the practice we are doing making us better every day or is it causing repetitive strain, leaving us full of aches, forcing us to wake up so early that there is never enough time for a great sleep.
Movement should prime us for whatever else we have to tackle that day, it should make our bodies feel good and it should inspire us. Sometimes giving yourself the permission to try something new, or spending the first 15 min of our practice meditating is exactly what we need to arrive more fully in our practice and in our lives. Its not all about the sweat on the floor, the gains, or finishing the next yoga series, its about being better humans, showing up for what matters and preserving the body.