Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Swing to the right.....Swing to the left......

I'm always telling the students to listen to their bodies. I remind them that our bodies tell us exactly what it needs and all we have to do is listen. It's so easy to see when people are pushing themselves. It's so obvious what other people need to do to bring themselves back into balance. It's a totally different story when it comes to ourselves.

I know I know but sometimes I forget. When I remember, then I know.

Yesterday, I remembered. I listened and paid attention to what my body was asking for. It needed simple, nourishing food and rest. I listened, I paid attention and I feel the effects. Of course I do; so why the hell don't I listen more often?

We often override our intuition and our instincts and then wonder why we don't feel 100%.
We read and learn all about Ayurveda and yoga yet we allow ourselves to get out of balance. How many times have we heard - Everything in moderation? Even the yoga sutras tell us that.

It seems to me that most of us get the part about not eating or sleeping too much but for some reason some of us yogis seem to miss the part about not eating or sleeping too little. We take things to extremes.  I know for myself, I tend to get tunnel vision at times. I focus on reducing kapha so I push myself physically and maybe I'm going to extremes with not eating and drinking enough.  I'm not resting enough.  I'm over-riding the signals that are telling me  I need more rest.  I've allowed myself to get out of balance.  I forgot to listen to my body.

We remind students not to take their practice to the extreme but do we remember that when we are on the mat? Do you take your practice to the extreme? When your body is telling you it's feeling exhausted and needs rest do you over-ride that for the sake of yoga? Are you really practicing yoga if you ignore what your intuition is telling you?

Balance is a funny thing. It's not something that we'll achieve and then we can relax. Think about tree pose. There you are balancing on one foot while the other foot is pressing into your opposite thigh. Hands folded at your heart. The pose is anything but static. Some fluidity is required to maintain the pose. Finding balance really means staying as close to center as possible. Not allowing the swing to be too extreme in either direction. Swaying a bit in the pose is expected but swaying too far to the right or left or even forward or back will cause you to lose balance all together.  That's the same with everything in life, swaying too far in any direction is sure to cause you to become out of balance.

When we get into the habit of ignoring our internal guidance we forget we even have it.  In my Italian family everything revolves around food. We are celebrating - let's eat. We are having a crisis - let's eat. I can honestly say that until recently I had forgotten what it actually felt like to be hungry. I know that sounds crazy but it's true. My internal guidance surrounding food had been ignored for most of my life and I forgot it even existed.  I forgot how to listen to my body.

Now I remember so I know. I pay attention, I listen. Oh Yeah... there it is. There's my internal guide. I hear it loud and clear.  Listening to my body helps me to stay as close to my center as possible.  The more balanced I am physically, the more balanced I am mentally. The more balanced mentally the easier it is to be in touch with my inner guide.  And so the fluidity continues........
Are you taking your own advice? Are you listening to your body?

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