Saturday, November 6, 2010

Virya - Absolute enthusiasm

On a yoga retreat led by Jennifer Pastiloff, assisting a fellow student in adho mukra vrksasana!

Ok, here’s a few useful pieces of information about me.  (I gotta say, it’s so strange to be writing to readers who don’t yet exist.  However, I’m choosing to look at blogging from a yogic perspective.  Ishvara pranidhana, which means “letting go into the creative source from which we’ve emerged” I interpret to mean, do the work for works sake, and let go of the results.)  So, here we go, entering the blogosphere, for no other reason than to enter the blogosphere.

Ok, useful pieces of information. Just in case.

1)    I am pretty much obsessed with yoga. I talk about it, live it, breathe it, and of course do it pretty constantly.  Please note, however, when I say “yoga” I don’t mean, “I am obsessed with getting the bottom of my foot to touch my head, effectively turning myself into a human pretzel.”  No, I mean yoga in the larger sense. Yoga as life, yoga as a philosophy, yoga as a way to practice humanity.  And if eventually the bottom of my foot touches my head, that would be ok as well. Just sayin’.

2)    I love to discover new ______’s, and share them. The ______ May be bands (which are sometimes actually new, and more often are “new to me”) yoga classes, lipsticks, restaurants, etc.  But I get really excited when I find something, and yes, I’m one of those people who has to tell everyone I’ve met about what I’ve discovered. And apparently, those I haven't met. 

3)    I am utterly incapable of taking myself too seriously during asana (physical) practice.  Thank Goodness for that.  See, I was not born a flexy-bendy person.  In fact, I seem to have been born with an invisible straight jacket that prevents me from having true flexibility in my shoulders, hamstrings that are less ham-string and more ham-rocks, and a tailbone with a total mind of it’s own.  I am learning the loveliness of single-pointed focus during an asana practice, but in reality, I practice what my first key teacher, Jennifer Pastiloff cited as a class rule: “If you fall, you laugh. If you don’t laugh, I will make you laugh.”

4)    What I lack in flexibility, I make up for in virya, which is translated as “absolute enthusiasm” or “vital energy.”  I believe in bringing a sense of curiosity and excitement to everything I do, and encouraging my yoga students to do the same.  It’s so refreshing to look at a new experience or challenge with the attitude of “wobbling like an infant learning to walk” rather than the “I’m such a freakin’ idiot that I don’t get this.”  It’s a fun challenge – next time something baffles you, be it at work, home or in a relationship, see if you can shift your attitude from self-denegrating to process-adoring. It’s pretty powerful stuff.

That’s enough for now.  Have a great night and keep practicing!


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