As we continue our series of yoga classes on Keepin' it Real Yoga Style we arrive at Jon Kabbit Zin's fourth quality for mindfulness: trust. When teaching Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy yoga I ask my students, what would it be like to experience your body as a wise teacher? In a culture where we have become accustomed to looking outside of ourselves for answers, this kind of questioning asks for a deep level of trust in Self. As we practice yoga we begin to develop a sense of trust in ourselves and our feelings. We begin to trust in our own inner authority even if we make mistakes and we realize that we don't always have to look outside ourselves for guidance.
Our own bodies, breath, emotions, thoughts, and spirits become the most reliable sources of wisdom and information available to us. Through our yoga practice we develop an attitude of trusting in ourselves and "our own basic wisdom and goodness" as Jon Kabbit Zin would say. When you practice yoga, especially, you have to honour your own body when it says stop or back off -- we call this edge in our practice. We also know that edges can be mental or emotional as well.
Jon Kabat Zin reminds us not to get caught up in the reputation or authority or your teacher either. It is more important to honour your own wisdom and intuition. For no teacher is wiser or more advanced than you. How could any teacher possibly know exactly what is going on in your body, mind, thoughts, emotions, or life at any given time? It is impossible. Only you are the expert on you. Trust that only you can become more fully you. That is the reason for practicing yoga and teachers are there as guides along the path.
When you practice yoga, you are practicing taking responsibility for yourself. Through your practice, you learn to listen and trust in your own being. "The more you trust yourself, the more you will be able to trust other and see their basic goodness as well." Jon Kabat Zin.
In today's practice we will focus on eagle's pose as a way to zoom in and zoom out -- changing our perspective, looking at things up close and far away. This practice will focus on hip, knee, ankles and shoulder joints as well as your third eye. The focus will be on having a vision for your life and trusting in your own innate goodness and wisdom.
Melissa West is a yoga instructor who helps people to surrender to peace in their lives by connecting to the vital energy within their body through breath, cultivating optimal functional movement by harnessing the power of gravity and increase overall mobility by creating more suppleness in the spine.