Posts tagged ‘intention’

on the mat

While I love all of the emotional and spiritual growth I receive from my yoga practice, I’ve had a good reminder lately of what a physical practice it is, and how much benefit my body receives from the practice.

The cesarean delivery of my daughter meant a break from my yoga practice, which I had already greatly modified as a result of my great (as in wonderful and large!) belly.  Now, after a break to recover from the labor and delivery, I’m back at it.  And realizing how much strength yoga requires, and how much strength we can build through practice.

I’ve never appreciated more than I do now how much I use my belly in yoga, moving from plank to downward dog and back, moving from downward dog to step forward into a lunge, revolving in any pose.  (And I’ve never appreciated all those women who come back so quickly from their own labor and deliveries–rock on, you mamas!)

Though I am much recovered from labor and delivery, I’m not close to doing all that I could do before Nora’s birth.  It’s astonishing–and frustrating–to realize how much more strength I need to gain.  I try to be in the moment with this body, exploring–and accepting–what I can do right now.  While my intention in coming to my mat right now is to strengthen my body, yoga offers me the chance for my body, heart and spirit to become stronger and more supple as well.

So good to be on the mat again.

July 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm 1 comment

Making waves

Was lucky enough to be at the ocean a few days last week.

Took a class at Grace Yoga in North Kingstown, RI.  The space is beautiful–an old schoolhouse carefully remade into a yoga studio, with 12 over 12 windows, rich wood floors, the slates from the old chalkboards hung to create new spaces.

Nikki, my dear friend and fellow teacher, reminded us of many of the past uses of the building in her introduction to the class–not just a schoolhouse, but also a weaving studio, and a doctor’s office.  The imprint of learning, caring and creativity left in that space is part of what makes it so lovely.

As I teach this week, I carry that theme with me.  What is the imprint–the vibe, the resonance, the residue–we leave behind in our interactions with others, in our space, and in our own hearts?  I know in my own practice, I can sometimes work my body so hard that the resonance I feel the next day is not so pleasant–sore hamstrings, back, or just a general tiredness in the body.

We can choose the residue that we leave behind, the impression we make on another’s heart.  We can chose to tend our spaces carefully, to leave behind a vibe that is welcoming, rich and rings with creativity.  We can carry this same intention into our yoga practice on the mat–to work the body hard enough that we learn, and to do it mindfully enough that we leave behind in our own bodies, and our own hearts, a residue of sweetness.

As Nikki and I walked along the shore in Jamestown after class, we came upon a small area of wetlands that the unusually high tides of recent days had flooded.  We were first captivated by the color–several shades of green, at least one of which I am sure I’ve never seen before.  Then we noticed that the grasses were pushed up into a pattern that showed us the paths the waves had taken into and out of this little salt marsh.  The water had left its imprint in the grasses.

What are the waves I make as I move through my life?  What is the imprint I leave behind in the spaces I use, in the hearts of others, and in my own heart?  May I leave a wake of sweetness behind me.

photo by Nikki

August 17, 2010 at 9:10 am Leave a comment

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