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Fertilizer for a Yoga Class

Posted Jan 07 2009 3:16pm

Do not say,"it is morning," and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name.
-Rabindranath Tagore
Shortly before my yoga class on Saturday my Twitter entry was:

Latest:I have 30 minutes to create the best yoga class I' ve ever held. I think it' ll come from my Twitter friends. So I read...

Sure enough, the word fertilizer caught my eye and it was linked to a blog post and author Richard Reeve' s admission: "I' m intrigued at exploring how in my own practice, wrong attitudes miss many opportunities that are rich for cultivation."

That was all I needed to formulate a two hour class based on attitudes and how we might be doing ourselves a disservice by placing yoga postures into the "Poses I Like" or "Poses I Don' t Like" columns. Just a slight change in attitude is all we need to change the status of something as humble as manure, to fertilizer and then to nutrient status. Imagine what could happen if you altered your self-talk about a yoga pose or any other practice, habit or action.

I asked everyone in class to name or describe a pose that was currently in their "least favored" column and those were all the poses we did for the next hour. We experiment with a lot of body-mind-feeling connections in my classes, sometimes to the discomfort of those who just want to move their bodies. But for those of us who seek a constant balance, we enjoy working on themes that we can take along with our lives outside the studio.

Vrksasana (tree pose) as an example, may be challenging for a number of reasons. A person may have difficulty standing on one leg because there may be a weakness or imbalance in the foot, ankle, knee, hip, etc. of the standing leg or the one that' s bent, or both. Another person may feel dizzy just lifting one foot in the air. The pose itself though, is simply, Vrksasana. What we think and feel about it is due to our own physical body and/or beliefs.

This week, take a look at the things that you immediately dismiss or pre-judge through a different lens. As though you are taking a picture of that person, place or thing, focus and then re-focus. Make-up heartwarming stories in your mind rather than dishing out quick labels for the driver tailgating you. You' re being generous to a stranger and lightening your load at the same time.

If we could see each day as Tagore suggests, "for the first time as a newborn child that has no name" and speak of things as we would like them to be, maybe we would view our lives as growing toward something greater as opposed to diminishing to an end. What do you think?

Photo: The Techno-Impressionist Journal

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