Article by Stephanie Cornell
My personal yoga journey began more than a dozen years ago. In yoga classes, I set up my space in the farthest recesses of the room, terrified at the possibility of another yogi setting up their space behind me, or, God forbid!, to be reflected in the mirror.
I spent my Savasanas silently sobbing. I would begin a regular practice, rock it, and then fall away. I would berate myself mercilessly and struggle under self-abuse to find the motivation to begin again.
I moved through numerous styles of yoga, a variety of instructors, and waffled between attending classes and practicing at home. Eventually, I received my certification to teach. No matter what I have tried, yoga has never brought me a daily commitment to the physical asanas.
However, changing my perspective on my inconsistent practice provided the realization of what an advanced yogi I have become.
Even when we do not physically make it to the mat, we continue through our practice.
Surya Namaskar A is the foundation. Tadasana: connect with the body.
Yoga has helped me find more present focus. Obsession over the past is released.
Concern with the future is only tied to the question of what I can be doing at present for healing and forward movement. There is nothing external that needs to occur in order for me to be happy.
Inhale. Raise the hands overhead, connecting with the breath. Inhale. Exhale. Becoming aware of the breath is the most important aspect, and often, the hardest part. I am improving.
If I will get out of my own way….if I let go and let God….if I hand the problems over to the angels for assistance, I can breathe. The occasional fits of hyperventilation occur, but now I am better at noticing. When I notice, I can choose to adjust.
Exhale, fold Uttanasana. I am more flexible. I do not have to fight everything. I can bend. My inner strength has developed from my relationship with my angels. Increased spiritual faith and trust in Source Energy provides assurance. I am safe.
Inhale. Straighten the arms; lift the chest. Step back into Plank. Exhale; lower down. I can do it. I am strong enough. I can support myself. I knew that before. Then, events happened and I forgot this. I learned it again.
Inhale. Straighten the arms; lift the chest. Shine the heart forward in Cobra. Exhale; tuck the toes and lift the hips: Downward Facing Dog.
I am finding the balance between expansion and contraction. I am releasing my self-imposed demands of “time.” I will get it done as I am able. It is ok to take care of me. I do not need to feel guilty about this. Self-care is a requirement, because I cannot give from an empty cup.
Inhale as you step forward; exhale Uttanasana. Rooting down through the feet to come up, we inhale arms overhead. I can no longer dwell in the victim mindset. I AM. I am supported. I am connected. Exhale, bringing hands to heart center. I AM one with the Divine.
Add Warrior poses to the flow, moving through Surya Namaskar B. I am a warrior. I have a mission and a purpose. I have things to offer. I can contribute.
The continued yoga hour brings opportunity to practice any number of asanas that develop strength, balance, and flexibility. Some of these are easy. Some I will achieve if I choose persistent practice. Some are unattainable to me in this vibration. None of this is right or wrong. It simply “is.” I release judgment. I work with my talents, strengths, and abilities. I respect my limits. I understand that every day is different.
Feel free to use blocks, straps, or other props for any asana, as necessary. I am better at noticing where healing is needed. I can use tools, such as yoga, meditation, crystal therapy, energy sessions, or any other modality to expedite my healing process. I can also choose not to adjust. It is my journey. It is solely my responsibility.
We end with Savasana. Relaxation does not equate to laziness. It is a way to connect with my body, which is a physical expression of my internal state. What hurts? Where is tension? Where do I notice improvement? I have learned to listen to and understand the messages my body sends me.
Yoga has helped me commit to myself. My journey has brought me from weeping in the back corner to leading class in the front of the room. Each day reflects flow or resistance. What asana does today reflect for you? Are you holding the pose with graceful ease? Do you waiver? Or, is today a transition between asanas? Are you inhaling? Are you exhaling? Or, is today the pause in between? Simply notice. Make modifications as necessary, if desired. As you are ready, move into the next asana. We are always “on the mat.”
Stephanie Cornell is a yoga instructor living at 10,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies. She is a ReikiMaster, Basic EDINA Initiate, Crystal Healing Therapist, and Starseed. She offers yin yoga downloads and yin yoga energy session workshops. It is never too late to heal. Find the methods that help you revel in your journey within. Stephanie can be reached via her website, www.starseedyoga.net, or through social media, www.facebook.com/StarseedYogaWorkshops.