Sweeney Yogini – Learning versus Doing

Hi All!  Thanks to so many of you who have been reading my blog.  It’s taken me a long time to make a go at blogging but this time I think I’m finally getting there.  We had some black Friday classes this weekend and I realized something really important:  There is learning yoga and then there is doing yoga.  Before I even charge ahead I want to point out that both Christine and I teach how to do yoga.  And I also want to acknowledge that the act of doing is an act of learning – always.  So there is major overlap between the two things and it is easy to see why the issue isn’t thought about that often.

Let me keep this light and not let it turn into a lecture.  Yoga shouldn’t be a lecture.  All I want to ask of you as students of yoga is this one thing:  Learn yoga.   Don’t just show up to do it and assume it’s fine no matter what the shape of your pose is.  That’s not it.  Christine and I are really hoping to teach you to be great yoga practitioners.  This is a yoga school!  We want to teach you how to do it.  And there is always more to learn.

The poses are designed to heal you.  This works because postural habits can lead to imbalances in our body.  Genetics can compound this.  Many postural limits / deformities / challenges are the result of a combination of the two but I assure you that you can do something about it and yoga is that something.  Yoga is specifically designed to balance the body so that it is strong and healthy.  That’s the whole point.  The reason for this is to support meditation – for meditation you need to be able to sit still for a long time without aches and pains interfering with your sitting.  Yoga is designed to make this easier.  What does this mean if you aren’t a mediator?  It means you can sit at your desk job for a long time without aches and pains if you do yoga.  It also means you can get through a day at work with good posture that will support your body and keep you feeling good.  Your posture is fundamental to how your joints feel, how your muscles feel, and how your nerves feel.  It starts with your skeleton but the soft tissue needs to support it in very precise ways and yoga is all about this.

Anyhow, I am asking you to join our school of yogis and yoginis here at Liberty Yoga.  We want so badly to teach you to have excellent form in your yoga poses – to follow the structure of each pose – so that you progress your practice and heal and strengthen your body.  And I want to reassure you that your body is designed to heal at any age.  It may take longer if you are older but your body is ready and willing to heal – all you need to do is take away the thing that is causing the misalignment or trouble area and healing will commence, faster than you ever dreamed possible.

Yoga is a series of exercises but it isn’t just a series of exercises.  It is also a series of forms that have a specific shape and goal.  It isn’t “get your hand on the floor” it is much more precise than that; it is “fold at the hip joint with a flat back and if your hand happens to touch the floor, well good for you, but if it doesn’t, keep on stretching and you’ll get there one day with time and effort.”  And one last thing, if your hand does get onto the floor, well then it’s time for the muscles to work extra hard, to hold the pose longer until they burn, to challenge yourself by taking your hand off the floor and holding yourself with your muscles.

Flexible people need strength and yoga brings that.

Tight people need flexibility and yoga brings that.

Stressed people need an outlet and yoga brings that.

Relaxed people, please come and share your joyful energy with us, we need you!

I hope to see you on the mat, ready to learn yoga.  Love, Erin


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