You've forsaken all other activities, and taken the time to get to class. You unroll your mat, setup your space and:
a: Go through the motions, muscle on through, and hope some of the Yoga sticks to you.
b: Focus, Flow, and seek to understand how the teachings relate to you, and how you relate to the teachings.
Taken at surface level, some of these teachings can seem superficial, trite, or yes, even dogmatic. "Open your heart, Draw energy up the back of your leg, Set a clear intention." What does it all mean? Better put, what does it all mean to you?
One of the beauties of Yoga is it's pure potential to be what you need it to be. Need to stretch, strengthen, de-stress? Then yes, Yoga practices can help.
But when practiced that way, it's like applying a band-aid. The benefits are fleeting. Feel bad – get to Yoga – feel good for a while, then feel bad again.
A small intention will get you just that, and that's all your Yoga may ever be.
When we approach our Yoga practice like we do everything else, we become more of who we already are. I think the world has had enough of us all doing that.
We've got to dig deeper, scratch below the surface and get to the roots of our issues. The bad feeling is there to show us a change is needed. dare to look.
Shift your perspective
Yoga asks us to set aside what we think we know, and to vary our perception. We hone the ability to zoom our awareness in on a particular sensation, or zoom out and gain perspective on the whole of our lives. In each moment, would the micro, or the macro view be best?
The question becomes: How can this posture, this very breath, help me to become a better person, neighbor, parent, friend, partner, or spouse?
Spice it up
When we practice this way, our efforts are concentrated, It's like a strong spice, say Saffron, it's sacred, and a little goes a long way towards the color and flavor of how we experience what's in front of us.
Unmake your mind
The teachings are a map, left by the anicents, a map to our freedom. Each pose, each breath, is potentially a step closer. In class we create a model of how we could live, and after class shows how we could feel all the time.
We need to remember why we fell in love with Yoga in the first place, and be sure our Yoga is about, what our Yoga is about.
Om Shanti. I'll see you in class.