Theming – in the sense of a non-physical focus such as a quote or concept to return to during class – hasn’t always spoken to me. Mostly I see the physical practice of yoga as so powerful that it speaks for itself. Sometimes a theme that another person chooses doesn’t really resonate with me and can actually detract from the experience of the class … so I’m cautious about bringing in themes of my own. The more I practice and meet different teachers, though, the more I’m growing into my own ability to theme in a way that does speak to me.
My sequence this week is a mandala, a series of postures that bring us full circle around the room. I love facing all these different directions, and struggling and succeeding in staying focused. Mandalas challenge us to stay grounded while we move in all these directions, just as life sometime does. More important than staying focused in a yoga class, how can you stay grounded in life?
“It was when I stopped searching for home within others and lifted the foundations of home within myself that I found there were no roots more intimate than those between a body and a mind that have decided to be whole”. – Rupi Kaur
Yoga has eight limbs, and the physical practice of postures, asana, is just one limb. Sometimes, though, we denigrate this as “just” the physical aspect. Is it oversold in the US, in comparison to the other 7 limbs? Of course. But the practice of moving and breathing in harmony, in order to build strength, to challenge flexibility, to find greater comfort and a sense of home in this physical body – that is no small thing.