Yesterday after my 1:1 yoga session, Andrea, the instructor said that she had some feedback for me. She rarely does this. For a split second, I felt defensive and prepared for an attack. I quickly realized how nonsensical that stance was, took a breath, and thought ok cool. Time to learn and receive a correction. Instead of a correction, she informed me that I was ready to advance.
Evidently, she saw that I was becoming comfortable with most of the poses (asanas) during each practice. She didn’t go into specifics about what made her think that I’m ready. She did, however, tell me that over the past two sessions she had integrated most of our poses into the flows and was observing how I was doing. Many of the poses that I’d been struggling with are now clearly easier and I’m able to enter and hold them routinely. It is probably not an unexpected coincidence that I’d noted the ease and confidence I feel when doing headstands, crescent lunge, and entering the crow asanas. I’m not able to hold them indefinitely, or close to perfectly, but I am now able to get into them. I feel as if I now work to adjust my body while in the pose, rather than fight to enter it.
One major difference is when I began trying the headstand, I didn’t know what muscles to engage. She told me, but I was not familiar with actually connecting and engaging them intentionally. As a result, I tried to quickly jump into the pose and hoped that I could stay there without an understanding of how. Now, I have the confidence and knowledge of what my body should feel as I move into the position. Also, while there, I am beginning to make small adjustments to certain muscles and develop a greater awareness of what my body is doing. The process of focusing on the parts of the pose is opening up my awareness of where my body is weak and tight and where it’s stronger. I’m able to better feel when I’m balanced or imbalanced AND more quickly make corrections.
So, next week we will begin incorporating intermediate-level poses into my practice. I told her yes, let’s begin. I welcome the challenge and am delighted by the growth and progress.