Sunday, September 26, 2010


The other day my new client had an amazing revelation.    Towards the end of our session she said, "You know I think many people use exercise to escape their problems, but with yoga you really have to face all your stuff."   I thought, "Wow!   You realized that in one session?"   In the yoga philosophy there's a concept known as svadhyaya, which means self-inquiry.   One of the points of the yoga practice is to get to know ourselves.   We discover our habits and patterns both physically and mentally.   We discover things we might like about ourselves and things we may not like so much.   It's a practice that takes a lot of bravery and honesty.   As one of my professors asked us to do in college (which I really despised hearing), "Please take off your rose colored glasses."   This was her way of asking us to practice svadhyaya.   I was not ready to take that deeper look at myself at the time, which is why I cringed every time I heard her say that.  Even still I notice resistance to take that deeper look every time I avoid certain postures or try to fix myself .  It takes time and patience to ease away from the rose colored glasses and when you're not ready it's easy to distract yourself.   I watch this in my clients who fly through their exercises or constantly talk rather than moving intently with their breath.   This prevents them from understanding themselves and what has happened in the moment.   It's a never ending process that requires both discipline and  some self-lovin'.   A sense of humor never hurt anyone either.


  1. I think self-reflection is the toughest thing in yoga. And I must say trying to do certain poses really isn't exactly the easy thing. I find accepting your inability to do poses is very tough. Like I should be able to stand with one leg but for the life of me, I can't. To accept that is very hard. And BTW, how do you learn to balance? I suck. - Haejae

  2. standing on one leg can be quite challenging! I usually find that waking up the feet and strengthening the arch support and lower leg muscles helps. Something easy you can do at home is massage your feet (maybe i'll do a blog on this!). When you're finished with one foot come to stand on that leg. Don't worry about taking a yoga pose, just make sure the standing leg is unlocked (that will challenge your lower leg muscles even more). Stay there until your muscles feel challenged and then try again with your eyes closed...pretty fun!