When I hear the word yoga I think of Structure, Control, Balance, Angles, Mindfulness, Peace, and Clarity.
These are a few of the things that come to mind when I think of yoga. Over the next few Sundays I will explain in more detail why these seven words stand out to me. The first word, Structure. Yoga is structured because it requires you to follow steps to safely manipulate your body into harder positions. I have made the mistake numerous times of attempting a harder pose and falling on my face or tumbling over. Therefore, letting myself down until I realize it's not that I can't get into that position. It's that I am looking at the pose the wrong way. Once I learned the steps or poses I needed to accomplish before attempting that pose it was smooth sailing. Majority of my practice is self taught. I am always reading articles about yoga, scrolling through Pintrest for new routines or a different perspective, and watching/following YouTube videos. I have completed a few yoga classes here and there like Hot Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, and Power Yoga but I never had the money to actually join the class permanently. Because I am self taught I had to learn how to position my body to keep from damaging it. I also had to follow the proper steps to condition my body for the harder poses. Think of your body as a temple. You're not going build a roof before laying the foundation. To give you an example of the structured aspect of yoga I will use one of my latest accomplishments, a few months ago I saw a pose called grasshopper (shown below). At the time I thought it was insane how one person could bend their body into that position while holding themselves up on just their hands. I wanted to do it but I had no idea how they even got into that pose. I started researching and I found that before I could complete the grasshopper pose I needed to complete baby grasshopper and crow. The reason I needed to learn baby grasshopper is because I needed to be flexible enough to place my foot onto the back of my arm but I also need to be able to use my core to hold my other leg out and away from my body. I needed to learn crow because I needed the strength in my arms and core to hold the rest of my body up. It was a challenge but I knew I could do it. Over the course of the next few months I continued my yoga practice with that in mind. I was able to master baby grasshopper with no problem so I included that into my daily routine while holding the pose longers and longer each day. I worked on flexibility in my hips, strenghting my arms and abdominal muscles as well as strenghting the other muscles in my body until one day I decided to try crow. I found a tutorial that explained crow in full detail. I had to keep my arms and elbows close to my body while placing my knees into my armpits. Then slowly leaning my chest towards the ground and raising one foot at a time. I have a video of the first time I achieved this goal. I was smiling from ear to ear and jumping up and down. Once I achieved this goal knew I could accomplish the goal I set out to complete. My first attempt at grasshopper was not very pretty. My foot kept slipping and I couldn't fully extend my other leg but I did not allow that to stop me. I attempted the pose every day. I tried manurvering my body from a balance pose called one legged chair and I also tried completing the pose from a seated position. After multiple failed attempts and being very determined I successfully accomplished my goal. I did full on grasshopper. This is just one example of how yoga is structured. If you are determined to do something you've never done before while in a peaceful structures environment then yoga is the right workout for you. Thank you for joining me in Yoga Sunday. I look forward to explaining what the other words mean and why they stand out to me when I think of yoga. Make waves and become the Myth. -MermaidStace