Wild and Crazy Yoga

Posted by Steven Russell on Friday, March 14, 2014

There are a lot of things yoga people do with their bodies that are wild and crazy. They stand on their head, on their hands. They twist their bodies into pretzels. A lot of people think that in order to do yoga you have to do all those wild and crazy things. Don’t get me wrong. Wild and crazy things can be a lot of fun. I love to stand on my head. I never imagined I could do it until at yoga teacher got me to try it. I never imagined that I’d enjoy it. Granted, you have to have a good neck. Any neck issues and it’s not a good idea. Any blood pressure issues and it’s not a good idea. But I really to enjoy it. It feels great. Handstands are great, but they take a bit more arm strength. I can easily do one against a wall. If I get away from the wall, I lose my nerve or something. I can’t stay up there. And twists, well they do wonders for my insides.

So does one have to do these wild and crazy things in order to practice yoga? No. Yoga is an exploration of each person’s breathing, focusing attention, and getting the body comfortable. It’s a very slow process, coaxing the mind and the body along in a safe exploration of possibilities. It’s also about getting to know the body’s limitations. Perhaps I should have said peculiarities. Every body is different. And not every body should do everything. Some movements will cause the body to react poorly. Others will stimulate good health. Yoga is the exploration of the body’s capacity, peculiarities, limitations, and possibilities. It is the exploration of the mind’s ability to focus on one thing and what that leads to. It is the slowing and deepening of the breath. Other than that, the wild and crazy things, which are not so wild and crazy after they have been explored, are part of those explorations. What one person does in yoga is not necessarily an indication of what another person should or shouldn’t do.

Comfort, safety, exploration. Such a wild and crazy idea.

 

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