Today was a difficult day to function in life and in yoga. I came down with a hard core cold, with flu like symptoms, with full blown body aches, chills and nausea to boot…talk about yuck.
It was only a matter of time really. For the past two months I have been putting in over time at my nursing job, hosting sporadic photo shoots for my business and of course this YTT program (6 days a week of working out, studying, 9 hour days…). Note to self, leave more time for sleeping.
But, I did make it through today, so thank you body. It was a struggle to start, but after we began our 75 minute hot vinyasa practice my sore muscles loosened up and my nasal passages began to clear. Afterwards my mind had more clarity and what was left over was the calming body fatigue (too bad it wasn’t nap time yet).
A lot of discussion took place next, about the 7 stages of designing a vinyasa yoga flow.
These stages are,
- Create the sacred space - this revolves around the idea of creating a feeling of personal space for the yogi. A safe area to begin to open up.
- Ignite the Spirit - breathing techniques begin here, to bring heightened awareness to the body and mind.
- Light the fire - these are the Sun Salutations, A, B & C; where the traditional “down dog” everyone knows comes into play.
- Build and stoke the fire - energetic postures take place here, along with any balancing poses or inversions.
- Utilize the fire - THIS, this is where the true nitty gritty of your yoga practice takes place. The “logs” or holding a posture for an extended amount of time, where you begin to really push yourself to your limits and use all of the remaining energy you’ve created.
- Integration / Conscious surrender - any finishing postures, or stretches held for a long amount of time, to really go deep into muscles (which you otherwise wouldn’t be able to if your body wasn’t hot enough).
- Unconditional love and gratitude - taking this time to go into savasana or “final resting pose” (laying on your back, letting your breath become natural again). Where you can let go of everything and begin to thank yourself for taking the time out of your day for this moment, acknowleding all of your hard work and accepting things or poses which maybe you didn’t obtain this practice; its all OK.
The 7 stages seems like a fast portion to cover but theses are really what makes a yoga practice. So, despite what I wrote here, we went in depth in class for hours over each of these stages. With some meditation and a 20 minute nap thrown in as well (yay for naps!) :)
Maybe my favorite part of the day was the last hour, play time! Taking a break to let loose and play with the Dharma yoga wheels that Chrissy brought to class and of course inversions (hand stands, forearm stands, blanks), something I think every yogi eventually becomes obsessed with!
I hope you enjoy our laid back iphone-ography of the day :D
***Side note, I am finally taking some rest with a pot of tea, a fuzzy kitty cat on my lap and binge watching some HGTV home design on netflix... #winning.