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Slowing down

Can you resist the temptation to rush through?

In most of my classes, it takes us around 15 minutes to get to Tadasana at the top of the mat. 15 minutes of tuning into our breath and preparing the body and mind for what’s to come during the practice. 15 minutes of using simple movement and asanas for self-enquiry to find out where our bodies are at today.

This preparation phase ends with our first transition to the top of the mat. I always, always encourage a slow walk for this first one (instead of steps or jumps as we do later on), with pauses on the way to add stretches, twists, folds, spinal extensions - whatever the body is longing for in that exact moment.

Are you moving slowly? Try go even slower. And really pay attention to the body’s response to each movement, each tweak, each placement of the foot, each protraction of the scapula, each tilt of the pelvis, each stretch in the hamstring and the connection to the sensations through the spine. Oh, the things you may learn about your body.

The transition from the back to front of the mat or vice versa is something so many yogis find challenging. But you know what? There’s not one universal way to do it! Explore the different ways and speeds of moving, and incorporate blocks to assist you on the way. Our bring your hands to your hips instead? Figure out what’s challenging specifically and RESIST the urge to use momentum to rush and to skip this transition (like ALL transitions in Vinyasa) because it’s difficult - use it to your advantage by creating more space & strength, step by step and practice by practice.

The same goes for those who don’t find this transition challenging - are you missing out on the opportunity to find more depth in your practice because you’ve stepped to the mat a thousand times before? What a waste of time and practice…


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