Thursday, February 18, 2016

ReJoyce Yoga Cartoon: Intension

I was teaching a "beginner" yoga classes this week and what I love about new students, is how hard they try.

Yoga can be sweaty, smelly, hard, uncomfortable, and infuriating. That is why I love to teach it. Beginners set their intension and work through each pose with willingness and angry determination. It's inspiring.

When poses become easier, we sometimes we lose that determination to improve ourselves and it gets replaced with our own vanity and need for competition. Even worse, sometimes we just move through the poses without any intension at all.

So... when I want to be humbled and need a new yoga perspective, I attend or teach a beginner class. It inspires me to be a better yogi. I look around and see the sweat pouring down faces, bodies in child's pose, or the intensity of the eyes paying attention and I know that I need to look at my own practice with that same ferocity.

To all the beginners out there... thanks for making me a better yogi.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

ReJoyce Yoga Cartoon: Svarga Dvijasana: Bird of Paradise

The first time someone said "... and then move into Bird of Paradise," in yoga class, I thought it sounded really strange.  "Bird of Paradise."

Eventually, someone told me, "it is a type of flower."

After performing a Google Image search, I finally understood it's name. Svarga dvijasana (Bird of Paradise) looks like a proud flower rising from the ground, shining it colorful face to the sun. Some days I'm a proud flower with strength in it's stem rising to the sun with little regard for gravity. Other days, I'm unstable, rocking and swaying like a plant in the wind trying to stay up. Either way, it's always a good day to be yogi because "making the effort" is how we get better.

Friday, January 22, 2016

ReJoyce Yoga Cartoon: Yoga Practice

When I started doing yoga, I always looked at the other people in class and thought they had such amazing concentration. They always looked ready to start class and their concentration was laser focused for the duration of what we were doing. 

Myself, I always felt like my mind was wandering, thinking about food, sleep, if other people were watching me or having some random thought. As my practice progressed my mind has become more still and I have better focus on what I'm doing, but that doesn't mean "I'm perfect" every practice. There will still be days where I am sleepy, angry or hungry. Yoga isn't the practice of self judgement or perfect focus; it's the practice of self understanding, and learning to change your practice to a devotional and meditative act of breath and movement. 

So celebrate the days when you're completely present and even those days when you are not. Every day on the mat is different. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

ReJoyce Yoga Cartoon: Vriksasana:Tree Pose

Some days I think I am the most unbalanced person in the world. Take tree pose (vriksasana) for instance. Most days I can stand up straight with all the concentration in the world and other days, I'm happy if I don't  fall over more than once during the duration of the pose. This can be really embarrassing if I am teaching a class. 

But I try to remember that it's o.k. to fall. We learn the most when we make mistakes and believe me, I've made a lot in my life. What's important is that we pick ourselves back up and try again. 

Every tree sways in the wind. It's what makes our roots even stronger in the end. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

ReJoyce Yoga Cartoon: Bhujangasana: Cobra Pose

One of my favorite ways to practice bhujangasana is to lay on the floor in front of the couch. Then I tuck my feet under the couch and use it to help keep the tops of my feet on the floor as I press up. It helps strengthen my back and shows me new potential for the pose.