After class at TPY NE a few weeks ago, a student visiting from Germany asked me to fill out a survey that was part of her work for an educational exhibit in Berlin. She and another photographer are asking Americans and Canadians about “What makes it so special to live in their respective countries.”
My answer was predictable and even patriotic. As you might guess, I spoke about freedom. And then I spoke to the photographer about what freedom can look like on any given day. About how we as individuals can both give it to and take it away from other people. It was an engaging conversation that led me to think about freedom in regards to yoga.
I try to frequently remind students of all the various benefits of yoga. We can even look to research that shows health benefits such as decreases in stress and in low back pain and increases in energy.
Personally, yoga has been an endless benefactor. Freedom in movement is at the top of this long list of what I have gained over the years. This certainly applies to yoga asana/posture practice. But perhaps more importantly, it applies to how I move and hold myself throughout the day. How deeply I understand that I need kinetic expression in my life daily is in thanks to my practice. And, it simply just makes me a happier person.
That pinpoints perhaps the greatest reward of yoga. Freedom for the mind! What does that mean? It is for you to discover. For me, it is the gift of more spaciousness, to have more awareness in how I treat myself and others. This can arise without a yoga practice. But if you are seeking freedom in movement and in your headspace, yoga just might give it to you.
Like many, I started yoga by going to busy drop-in classes. This is akin to diving in at the deep end. I wish I had had access to a workshop like Yoga Foundations II. This is an offering for those who have some yoga experience but would like to finesse the details. We will take four Sundays to do just that starting November 15th.
Gil Hedley said it best: “Movement is your birthright”. Hope to see you for movement and more at this workshop.