Is shedding a few tears during “relaxed pose” normal? On occasion I seem to go to a place at the end of the hour long class that leads me to do this. I am not sure if it is an emotional release or the fact that often times I seem to end up thinking of my Dad who passed away three years ago now. The Yogi says to imagine a happy place and in my mind’s eye I drift off to Bali, The Caribbean or a beach in South Africa and then… I seem to think of my Dad.
I am really enjoying Yoga particularly now that I have been studiously attending my gym classes on a daily basis. I therefore have more strength for the Ashtanga poses which in turn makes it more enjoyable. I still have a long way to go but I am embracing the journey.
One of the main benefits is the clearing of the mind. Having an hour and half where you don’t think of work, image processing, emailing, wedding albums, photo shoot production, accounting and the many other elements that go into running your own small business.
Being aware of your breath and concentrating on that whilst removing the inner dialogue leaves me feeling uber Zen after the class… and at times in need of a nap!
I studied Drama all the way until Matric (end of school) in South Africa and I recall the teacher using some meditation techniques with us in order to get us focused and relaxed. Lie down on the floor and relax. Breath in for five counts, hold for five counts, out for five counts. Repeat. Increase to six counts then seven then eight. You get the idea. I carried those methods with me all through my life. I realise now that my teacher must have been some sort of hippy Yogi type. I love her for that.
Even if you don’t do Yoga take that time at the end of any gym class when they put on the calming track and go through the motions of stretching to clear your head. Concentrate on breathing through the stretches and make them count. Don’t rush off before the end of the class and start your to do list before your hour of “me time” is up. If you don’t do gym then use times when you are walking to the station or to the shop to practice not worrying or thinking about things. Try to allocate a little bit of time during the day and you will get better and better at being present and in the moment.
I have been catching myself searching for Yoga retreats. When a destination wedding enquiry hits the inbox I always like to do a bit of a search for hotels, Google Earth the area and now added to that list is seeing if there is any way I could add a little bit of Yoga either side of shooting days. We will see if that comes to fruition. We have just booked a wedding in Santorini so if any of you can recommend a good Yoga class on the island do let me know.
“The true purpose of yoga is to discover that aspect of your being that can never be lost. Your job may change, your relationships may change, your body may change, your beliefs may change, your desires may change, your ideas about your role in the world may change, but the essence of who you are is the continuity of awareness that has no beginning or end. Your thoughts, beliefs, expectations, goals, and experiences may come and go, but the one who having the experiences — the experiencer — remains.”
— Deepak Chopra in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga