Updated: Sep 20, 2020
How should you move in yoga?
In one of my first yoga classes ever, the teacher said "move how we are supposed to move, look how we are supposed to look, and be how we are supposed to be." This has stayed with me ever since, and I carry it through every aspect of life, and it really plays a big part in my asana practice. Both my personal practice and how I teach.
Western media often portrays yoga as something that is externally beautiful. You only have to look at top yoga brands and their legging adverts to see that they believe the shape of the pose is what sells. And maybe it does. But I can't help but feel a slight unease with this, and the branding of the ancient philosophy of Yoga as an exclusive and expensive lifestyle choice.
So bring it in. Leave everything outside, that's right, outside. When we slow down, turn to the breath, and watch how it can impact absolutely everything, we realise that maybe yoga really is onto something. No $100 leggings (and that's with a discount!) or one armed handstands in the Serengeti whilst kissing a zebra on Instagram anywhere to be seen.
Move how you are supposed to Move
OK, Iyengar might say that there is a specific way that a pose should look, and sure alignment cues really can play an important role in the safety and progression of some yoga poses. But ultimately if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't right. Move like nobody is watching. How would your sun salutation look if you did it in a mirror with a crowd versus with your eyes closed in a dark room. Hopefully, exactly the same! But I bet the latter would feel 100 times better! You don't think twice about stretching first thing in the morning as you take a big yawn and climb out of bed. Lace your yoga practice with your own natural scent. Move how it feels good to move.
Look how you are supposed to Look
How do you look when the curtains are closed, you've just had a hot bath and nobody is home? OK, maybe not naked, but certainly comfy right?! Maybe your comfiest trousers, socks, tops. No bra! This is exactly how you should show up to your yoga class. Free and comfy. Connected to you. Once you start moving from your centre, your breath, from the inside out, the light will shine through. It no longer matters what things on the outside look like, because the inside shines out. You never see a kid and think they should be wearing the coolest new clothes or make up to make them appear beautiful. They simply are, because they are connected to their intrinsic essence, their true being, their inner light! They simply look how they are supposed to look.
Be how you are supposed to Be
Show up as you. You without any of the bells and whistles. No strings. Just you. It might be scary at first, but so liberating once you've done it once or twice. Let the vulnerabilities shine forth. Be content in your silence. Know that you are awesome. And extraordinarily ordinary. I've been reading a book recently about how parents in our Western societies are increasingly wanting their children to be extraordinary. Just plain ordinary is no longer enough. And how much pressure that can put on a kid? On the parent? Treat yourself the same. Know that you are immense and perfect just as you are. No comparisons to another. Just you. In all of your extraordinary ordinariness.
Live Online Yoga like you are supposed to Live Online Yoga
One of the beautiful benefits on Live Online Yoga from the comfort of your own home is that you really can begin to practice these things. And the more you practice on the mat, the more you will be able to integrate them into your day to day life. You are present with you. In your moment. You are in class, but you can't see the other students. It is only natural to see the person on the mat next to you and think, oh why can't I bend that far forward, or am I supposed to have my leg where?! And bam, you are no longer present, but distracted by the ifs and whats and possibly even letting judgement creep it and before you know it, you've missed the last 2 minutes of class and more than likely disconnected from the breath. Live Online Yoga helps you to stay focused, present, with the breath, and with YOUR body. MOVE how you supposed to move, LOOK how you are supposed to look and BE who you are supposed to be. Let a regular Live Online Yoga practice help you to practice all of these elements. Connect to your breath, and build strength, balance and space from the inside out. Allow the recalibration, as your body and mind processes and integrates all the stuff that scares you, leaving you open, refreshed and ready for anything!
Ready to create a little bit of space for you? Why not try our Live Online Yoga classes, bringing you accessible yoga for all, from our living room to yours? Sign up now for 15 days of free unlimited classes.
Carrie is a co-founder of The Frog Project, yoga teacher, and full time stay at home mum to two smalls. When she's not playing with the kids or practicing yoga, you'll likely find her in the middle of her veg patch, trowel in hand and covered in mud. She loves the outdoors, and would camp every night given the chance. She and her partner in crime, Martin, set up The Frog Project with the aim of bringing classical yoga to all, and deliver live online classes with a group of dedicated teachers, to students of all experiences, ages, shapes, sizes, jobs, lives, you name it, from all around the world. Join them now and get 15 days of free unlimited classes. It's just yoga.