With somewhere between 45 and 90 minutes per class, there is only so much information I can convey to students while on the mat. I try to share thoughtful cues about shaping a posture, some tidbits of anatomy, and digestible yoga philosophy. This past month, the frame of my yoga soapbox was built on body awareness. There are levels and variations of body awareness, but I’ve been all haired up recently about pushing students to actually inhabit their bodies for a hot minute. It’s not news to say that we spend most of our days up in our heads, detached from how our body is moving, functioning, feeling, and communicating with us. But we get just one of these precious bodies―what a shame to live a life, to even pass the day, without paying attention to it.
If you practiced with me in November, you probably heard some version of “I invite you to inhabit your body for the next hour” or “get your mind and body to occupy the same space” or “bind like you actually care about the bind” or even “be! here! now!” Those who know me well might have felt the undercurrent of urgency-nearing-on-frustration in my words. While I believe the yoga space should support people wherever they are in the practice, and regardless of the day they’re having, I can’t dampen my insistence that being present for and aware of the experience in your body is essential.
November by the numbers:
- 32 classes
- 337 students
- 35+ hours
- 7 locations
Some select sweet comments and funny feedback from students:
- “My transverse abdominus is on fire!”
- “I love the way you make me understand how heavy my body really is! It makes me feel like I’m connecting with this weird little vessel that I spend so much (all) of my time in.”
- “You mean, we can’t come back her after we have our babies? You’re kicking us out?” [Ed: This is from a prenatal yogi, if that was not clear.]
- “Can I ask you some questions about the pelvic floor?” [Ed: Omg, yes, always.]
- “Whoooooa, that was hard.”
- “I can’t tell you how much appreciate your adjustments during class.”