This fall at Octopus Garden, I am fortunate to teach a class that I feel so passionate about. The class is Gentle Yoga. I teach it on Wednesday from 12:30-1:45pm and it is for everyone! There is no right way to be in this class. Instead of the “what”(or the pose), we focus on “how” we move and what arises.
Here is why we need this class. We live in a society that values doing over being, efficiency over connection, fast over slow and outcome over process. This class may be for you if are intrigued with the idea of moving slowly and mindfully as a way to connect with self. If you are recovering from illness or injury, manage anxiety and/or depression and want to practice self-care, give this class a try. My hope is that through this class, we will practice Svadyaya, or self study, one of my favorite Niyamas.
I have always used my asana practice to become more intimate with self – it is a vehicle for awakening. Yoga is the discipline of forging connection. I have learned that I can’t always experience all the layers of me when I am pushing myself vigorously in a flow class. In fact, when I practice hard and fast, I sometimes bypass what I am feeling. By moving slowly, linking movement and breath and paying exquisite attention to what surfaces, I learn how to exist in this human body. I take these lessons into the world and in turn the world hands me material to explore on my mat. The process is not always comfortable but it is valuable and necessary if I want to continue to grow and manifest my highest self.
Here’s what you can expect:
- A safe, spacious container to explore being alive
- A healing environment
- A proposed theme as a jumping off point e.g., Satya, meaning truth. How can you honour and express your truth today?
- Questions, suggestions, guidance and options for movement as opposed to direction
- An opening meditation, either seated or reclining where we might cultivate breath awareness or practice breath techniques
- Mindful movement in support of self-discovery.Emphasis on compassionately observing feelings, sensations, energy, breath, space.
- One or two restorative postures and a long savasana to rest and digest
- A short guided meditation may conclude the class and send us off into the world
- Sometimes music, a quotation and/or a short reading
I look forward to see you there and I am leaving you with one of my favorite poems by David Whyte
Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.
This opening to the life
We have refused
Again and again