Yax Yoga Concepts Retreat, Realistic Approach
Step into the Flow
This morning I awoke unprompted at 5:15am feeling fully rested. I made my way to the beach by 6:15 to catch the sun on the water before entering into guided meditation at 7am. Again today just as yesterday, I entered caffeine free which surprisingly has been easier than expected. The surroundings at Blue Spirit are enough to invigorate you and awake you truly from the inside. I keep referring to this place as God’s Country. It is oh so evident that he is here all around us. I find myself smiling a lot, except ironically when I am in intense focus of a pose or in mediation. It seems my “race face’ follows me into yoga as well.
Throughout the week I find myself using and writing one word over and over again when describing the teaching style of Chris and John Yax.
Chris and John, through the philosophy of Yax Yoga Concepts, have such a realistic approach to their teaching. As teachers, they are successful at delivering the tools to us as students that we need to have a true understanding for both the how and why of meditation and yoga practice. Today we were equipped with more tools to help us ease into the practice of both. They tools they share with us are not meant to be long term ways of practice, but yet a way to find what works for each of us as we learn. Chris and John understand that for many, yoga and meditation are new and we are building on skills and new experiences to learn. They break down the poses, break down the breathing, and break down the thought process we may even have inside of our own minds. They share a vulnerability in relating their own real life challenges and experiences with the group. As a student, I am building trust and respect for them as teachers being able to share with us in that way. It is relatable and again realistic that even those that are the most proficient in yoga, face similar challenges overcoming a restless or wandering mind just as a new practicer may encounter.
After two strenuous sessions yesterday, many of us came to the mat this morning with weary bodies. Our schedule called for one session today and we were urged to take it easy and to listen to our own bodies. Before practicing, Chris and John talked about organizing your effort within your practice. Organizing our effort refers to the relationship of energy in our body. The two forms of energy we speak of here are muscular and organic. Not every pose and practice should be to our highest intensity level. The balance should be between the quality of pose as well as the power we exert in each muscle. Shifting the balance from one to the other can help one develop a plan for lifelong practice.
Being aware of what your body needs and how it feels is so important when you are coming onto the mat. Just as in running, you are able to turn the intensity up or down at any time during the session. My “a-ha” moment today was that quality in a pose or posture is more important and a deeper muscular or flexible intensity will come in time.