I attended my first yoga immersion class this past Saturday and what an eye opening experience. It was based on getting into the philosophy of yoga and the 8 limbs of yoga. On this day we learned that yoga is a timeless pragmatic science that deals with the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual part of man. I say man because it was once believed that only men could practice yoga. Women had chores to do and house-holds to look after therefore there was no time for women to practice. Now things have flipped and although yoga is for both men and women today some believe that yoga is a women’s sport. I have even read in magazines such as Yoga Journal that it is geared towards women even though lots of men practice as well.
It may have been at one time that yoga studios were filled with only women. Now when you walk into any yoga studio you see both men and women of every age. It is true that the percentage of women in the studios is more than men but there are more and more men joining our groups. It probably also depends on where you practice. In Portland Maine perhaps there aren’t as many men as you would see in large cities. Either way I’m glad to see all types of people practicing.
We also went over what yoga means for each of us and it is very different for each person as it should be. Yoga is a very personal, inside yourself type of practice that each person finds something for themselves. It is a practice because we there are aspects that need to be practiced daily on and off the mat. The stuff that happens on the mat is very personal and the stuff off the mat is very personal with a touch of spreading to others. The idea about yoga is just to take the parts that work for you and draw on those parts to better them, share them, express them, analyze them and question them.
Our first task is to work on 1 of the 8 limbs. Realize the thoughts we have, think about them, question them and if they aren’t exactly positive or what we really want flip them. The idea is the more we practice good, positive thoughts we will share those vibes with others and those thoughts will lead to kind words and deeds. Just changing the thought pattern is practice enough for some people. I’m working thoughts, words and deeds. She wants us to write in our journals the thoughts we have and how we flipped them. I have been carrying a journal with me at all times since Saturday. You all know I have a journal with me most of the time anyways so I can write down the important things that I want to blog about and I always have a journal with me if my computer is not readily available to me. Having a journal at all times means I don’t leave my office without it even to head to meetings. Especially to head to meetings because some negative stuff is surely to come up for me in meetings right? I’ll be honest I have one situation written down in my journal that was a negative thought that I flipped.
Prior to being involved in this class and now having my thought journal with me I had lots of thoughts that I really didn’t want but now as I’m about to have the thought I flip it so I am not even indulging in those types of thoughts. An example would be that in commuting traffic I would have road rage sometimes not often but it happened. Now I have road sage. I figure that I will never see any of these people again and they certainly won’t remember me or even know they upset me so why would I waste my time on being upset with them? My husband was telling me a driving story on Sunday that happened to him on the Wednesday before. He carried around those feelings for 5 days and I just looked at him and said I guarantee the guy that has upset you so is not telling his wife about you 5 days later and in fact he probably didn’t give you another thought. You should just let it go and forget that a stranger you will never see again had a brief moment of being not so pleasant. He understood what I was saying and agreed but it isn’t always easy to let stuff go. I’m finding it easier and easier as I do more and more.