Happy March! One of the beautiful things about living in the Okanagan is the way we get to experience all four seasons…almost to the day. As the calendar flips toward March 21st (the first official day of Spring), the snow resting on the hills surrounding the lake begins to melt, small buds of green begin to appear in our backyards, and slowly our boots are replaced by a favourite pair of canvas sneakers (there will soon be a lot of Vans and Converse in our staff room).
Our bodies are connected to the natural world and are designed to follow the gentle…and sometimes not so gentle, ebbs and flows of creation. Just as winter asks us to slow down and rest, spring asks us to awaken and move.
The Yoga Sutra we are exploring for March is Sutra 1.3 – Yoga will help you recognize your true self.
In yoga, we often talk about the breath. How the breath is the cue to our body to pay attention, that it’s safe, that it is okay to be in the present moment. In yoga practice the breath can be used to find both softness and strength, sometimes in the same pose and at the same time. When we move our bodies and find ourselves in a shape that is particularly challenging, we can send the breath to that spot, lean into the burn, the shakiness, the uncertainly. The breath cues our body that everything is okay, and we can remain in that lunge for just a little bit longer. The breath also brings ease. In that same lunge, we can use the breath to find places of softness in the body – perhaps by releasing tension in the face or quieting the thoughts in the mind.
This practice of paying attention guides us closer and closer to who we are. When we move our bodies, we connect to both the softness and the strength that is already inside us. When we stay in that lunge, holding it for a few more seconds, finally coming out of it feels like a victory! When we land in savasana (final resting pose at the end of the class) we soften into ourselves and create space for our inner wisdom to speak.
Yoga helps us see that we are both softness and strength. At the same time.
Our true self can be as complex and beautiful as the ever-changing, moving rhythms of nature. Recognizing that we can be softness and strength. Body and mind. Confused, sure, confident, and questioning. All at the same time. This creates space to love our selves a little bit more, accept ourselves a little bit more, and lean into the gentle…and sometimes not so gentle, ebbs and flows of being human.
At Solstice, we offer 3 different types of yoga classes each designed to meet you where you’re at in your yoga practice. Our Foundations classes are slower paced, focused on breath work and alignment. This class is great if you are new to yoga or want to spend more time on each pose. Fitness is faster paced, focused on building strength and endurance. Come to this class if you want a more challenging practice. Unwind is slow moving, focused on relaxation. Come to this class if you want to rest (we like to call Unwind a guided nap).
We look forward to supporting you on your journey to self this month. See you on the mat.