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Progression is an understanding

Updated: Jan 29

This image shows Vanda Scaravelli - if you've practiced with me, likely you've heard about her. As you can see, she is grand in age, and amazing in practice, and my training is from her lineage. Vanda wrote: Do not kill the instinct of the body for the glory of the pose

We are often eager to advance in practice, crack that pose we found in "Light on Yoga" or (dare I say) on the internet.

I recently suggested in our Wednesday class to ask your body "what can I access today?" meaning what does my body need, does it need a strong practice or a gentle movement? Does it need a new pose or one I know well? Both are equally valuable. I recently thought: True yoga requires an awareness of your body which takes time and practice to develop.  Regular attendees {to a class or practice} will feel this and the body will be ready to progress to “harder” postures or go deeper in known postures; both progressions require a consistent practice. The instinct of the body (or intelligence, intuition, understanding) tells us whether or not we need a pose; as an example, a headstand - frankly I haven't for a while, but feel recently it's needed. I want to stand taller, feel an inner strength, a shift. For me, the darker months often lead to a gloomier mood and headstand helps allieviate this (as does Uttanasana, forward bend or Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward Facing Dog). It takes practice. Practice gives understanding. How long to be in the pose: long enough to feel a benefit; an understanding or long enough to have pushed and tightened. An intelligent, intuitive body knows when to strive towards the advanced and when to go deeper into the known. This can often be understood by asking the body what it needs at the start of the practice, or to ask "What can I access today?" - busy-ness and it's effects rush us, so take time at the start of practice to listen to your body and welcome with open arms what it tells you. * I will be running some sessions at Little Laurel on more advanced postures for those who want to explore them and I will share dates. Our Deepening Practice (Foundation 60 hour course) starts on 2nd March - I'll share more about this shortly.

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