This post is part of Sadhana, a 26-week exploration of each of the Namaste Yoga sequences. It’s never too late to join! All that is required is to try a new Namaste sequence each week – and don’t forget to post about your experiences to be entered in our monthly contests. Read all the Sadhana posts here or connect with others participating in Sadhana on our Facebook wall.
Congratulations to our Sadhana travellers, who have completed Season Two, disk one this month, as part of the journey through all 26 episodes of the original Namaste Yoga television series. One really exciting aspect of the series is how each episode builds on previously learned poses and sequences. As we've ventured into Season Two, the journey delves a little deeper into our personal strengths, and the places where we encounter blocks in our path. We found inspiration in our latest featured Namaste Yogini, Katty Janus, and how she is finding an extraordinary opportunity in what previously appeared to be rather large obstacles!
Our fantastic Facebook Community keeps us informed of their journey through the sequences. We see you consistently learning, gaining and growing from your personal yoga journey! When we talk about growth, we aren't just talking about mastering challenging poses (though isn't it exciting when you do?), but perhaps more importantly, the growth that comes from really learning about yourself. How can you adapt a pose to suit your needs? How can you modify a sequence to give you just what you need? What do you need to stay energized and focused?
Our bodies are similar, but not the same. Your Swan is not Marion's swan, it is YOUR Swan! That means, you have to adapt the poses to your body so that in time, your body may adapt to the pose. Alejandra has the right idea: "no matter how difficult it may seem, I do my best and keep on trying to make it better and also to deal with my very human limitations with acceptance and not with frustration."
It takes patience, acceptance, and mindful attention to your practice to get maximum benefit from each pose. "I realized I had been sloppy with my hands and learned to keep my fingers closed together this week." Amy went on, "one more detail to think about and improve. One more way to stay focused on the moment." That fine-tuning is an endless process! The more you focus, the more you notice every little detail of yourself and your positioning. The process of refinement can generate so much satisfaction, improve attention to detail, and build strength of both mind and body.
It's all about awareness of what you need, when you need it! Modify your yoga to suit your needs, just like Emmy. "I just did this on my front porch after a two-mile run,"
she said. What an awesome idea! Yoga and the great outdoors are an unbeatable combination.
Sometimes modifying a sequence means creating a little imbalance in the flow to find balance in the body. "I found that it is okay to repeat the sequence on my less flexible side, and to sink deeper into the poses I am comfortable with," Diane shared with us. "I am now moving freely through the sequences and feeling more open in my rib cage."
The ultimate modification of yoga is learning how to bring the mentality off the mat and carry it with you through your day. "Even if some days I can't get on the mat I still try to incorporate the mental aspects of it," Cassie says. "I try to bring Namaste to everything I do! Breath deeply, stay calm, and smile!" Words to live by, Cassie!
Ultimately, you can create a practice you can count on to restore your sense of calm, focus and center. It is a wonderful way to begin each day, a great mid-day way to regain composure, and a soothing way to cap off an evening. As our very own Kate Potter says, "yoga should feel so good, you want to do it every day."
Namaste Yoga brings you to that grounding place of healing calm and restorative space. "I love the feeling of stretching," Diana says, "balance as well. When you have a bad day, this stretches out the knots." Dora loves "the energy and power" she feels, and Christine loves "the calmness that comes after finishing." For Todd, Namaste Yoga "Made my life and sleep habits a lot better, calmer and more relaxed."
Tiana is finding the practice she began long ago is restoring her to a more familiar version of herself. "I found that I lost some of my flexibility while not being able to practice for two months after giving birth," she explains. "I'm excited to get back to the old me." Being able to restore and expand mental and emotional flexibility by being fully mindful of your actions benefits you and every person you connect with. "I learned even the smallest stone can change my balance," Nicole shared, "which makes me think that everything, no matter the size, impacts the balance of life."
We can find the truth in Nicole's words every day on our Facebook Wall. Each time you cheer each other on, every moment in which you offer a word of advice or compassion, we bear witness to the ripple effect of your positive energy and the way that energy extends into the rest of our days. Through yoga, we learn we can adapt our thinking to consider the needs of others and modify our words to convey helpful messages through which we hope to restore another's faith in themselves and eagerness to get on the mat!
It's time to continue our Sadhana into the last leg of our journey, Season Two, Disk Two. Are you ready? Come along, and learn how to get just what you need from your practice. We'll leave you with some words from Avtar "If you have the chance to do something new and that makes you make better choices, GO FOR IT! You can never go wrong."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Heather Gregory is an avid Namaste yogini and has been practicing the sequences nearly every day for three years. We enlisted Heather to embark on Sadhana, our 26 -week journey, and blog about each sequence. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org