After class one night, I was talking with a student that has progressed amazingly fast. This is not a matter of just flexibility or strength, but more importantly her ability to remain with her breath and center while flowing with a group class. I commented about how she (at least appeared) to be very inwardly aware and challenging herself without pushing too hard.
Finding that balance between overdoing and not getting a lot out of class can be challenging for many. Again, you could even "see" how she really moved with her breath and stayed present. To be honest this took me years to attain!! And even today, sometimes it's an interesting yo-yo effect of going between being "in" my body and looking at something outside of it.
This lovely lady was kind enough to share what really helped her "get it" in Yoga: "It was the meditation part of our Yoga class that really 'cinched' it for me."
These are wise words. For over a year, I had taken Yoga classes with no form of meditation and didn't really see how Yoga was any different than a decent stretching class. When I established a home practice, I would skip any kind of centering as a "waste of time."
My body got a bit stronger and more flexible, but not so much in my head or heart. I've been studying Yoga for ~8 years. It had taken me almost 3 years to begin to "get it", to begin to really stretch, strengthen, and balance my mind and heart as much as my body.
Kudos to those that can learn this earlier, and kudos to teachers that help them get there :-)
If you'd like some guided meditations and visualizations, I have a CD that many have used and loved. Here are a few feedback comments:
"I use it everyday. It really sets the mood of becoming present." Patty F
"I love this CD. It is great! I use it all the time." Lisa L
"The heart flower is my favorite. It feels very soothing." Fridl S
"I really love the Planets. I use it whenever I feel stuck and need some creativity to flow. Molecules is great when I feel spacey and need some grounding. It's a really wonderful CD" Tina H
You can hear samples and order the CD at CD Baby.
Have a centered and peaceful day :-)