Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nearly-Wordless Wednesday

Saluting the Sun
Surya Namaskar

For more Wordless Wednesday, visit the main site.
For more of my photos, see Flickr.

 April is YIOM, or Yogis Inspiring Oneness Month...and I am proud to participate!

Friday, April 8, 2011

April is YIOM

I've just learned that April has been designated as YIOM, or Yogis Inspiring Oneness Month, a project designed to encourage quality blog posts about yoga. The blog posts can be tracked on Twitter using the #YIOM hashtag.

The idea is to help elevate awareness of yoga beyond its popular image as only a fitness regimen. Yoga is, of course, a good fitness regimen, but it is so much more as Lorin, aka @TheVeganAsana on Twitter, who created the YIOM event has said.

And the project is very timely, since April is also the month I have decided to devote to practicing my newborn teaching skills. As such, yoga is very much on my mind these days. Today I hosted my first group of students at my home for a free yoga class. I decided to not charge for lessons or classes until I have more teaching experience, so had already designated April as "free yoga month." I am happy to add the YIOM definition for the month of April, and to let the project inspire me to write more blog posts!

This was actually my second yoga teaching experience, but unlike the first one where I found myself deviating strongly from my planned routine, I actually stuck to my notes this time. I had three students, all with different issues, so I found I couldn't tailor the poses for a particular issue the way I did when I was giving a private lesson.

Just as with my first student, though, I found that I absolutely, totally loved the experience of leading people through a yoga practice. I especially loved teaching the students who had little or no experience with yoga, and it was extremely gratifying to hear exclamations of "Oh! I see!" after I had brought their attention to a specific body part or position. I could literally hear the enhanced awareness of their bodies settling in, and it was a wonderful sound.

We did a full, normal yoga class, complete with Savasana and Namaste at the end, and I also loved watching them relax into Savasana, letting go of the stress and worries of the day as the thunder from an April rain shower rumbled overhead outside. I taught them that "Namaste" means "The divine in me bows to the divine in you," and as I bowed to them, I really meant it: I felt great gratitude for these divine souls who had allowed me to share my practice with them today. 

And, yes, we were sweating a bit by the end of class, and I'm sure their hips and thighs are going to feel the effects of Warrior II and side angle bend tomorrow, so they definitely got a work-out. But I also know that they received one of the most important gifts of a yoga practice: the ability and opportunity to let go, if only for a few minutes as in Savasana, and just be.