Yoga For the Fun of It

posted in: Bea's Thoughts | 0

I love sharing inspiring words from a respected yoga therapist and colleague Carol Kruckoff. I intend my classes to impart this too. Bea

Remember  the feeling as a child, when the recess bell rang  and released you out  onto the playground to run, jump, swing and do whatever your little  heart and body desired? Yoga offers this kind of  “play break.”  In our busy, stressful lives, yoga practice can be a precious opportunity to be present in our bodies–stretching out the kinks, breathing deeply and having fun.  This is why I avoid using the word “work” in my yoga classes.  Instead of asking students to “work at the postures,” I encourage them to “play with the poses.”   For those steeped in the Western mindset–where there is a belief that the harder you work, the better the results–this can be a challenging attitude adjustment.    But in yoga, we recognize that working hard may actually create more tension and take you farther away from where you want to be. So, rather than “muscling into” a pose, which can lead to injury, we learn that relaxing into a pose can take us deeper.  Yoga teaches us to become keenly aware of how the pose feels, take the movement to a point of challenge but not strain, and allow the breath to invite the posture to unfold.  In other words, we typically progress in yoga not by working harder, but by working softer–relaxing, releasing, and letting go; or better yet, by not working at the pose at all, but by playing with it.        As legendary yoga master Vanda Scaravelli wrote in her extraordinary book Awakening the Spine, “Why are we doing yoga?  We do it for the fun of it.  To twist, stretch, and move around is pleasant and enjoyable, a body holiday.”        So forget about working out, and vow to take time every day to go out (or in) and play

In joy,   Carol Krucoff, E-RYT