The Ever-Changing Present and the Ever-Changing Practice
When I first started practicing yoga, the majority of my thoughts during class were focused on making sure my expression of the postures was as close to textbook (i.e. Yoga Journal) as possible. It was hard enough trying to decipher which pose blah-blah-blah-asana was, but then attempting to align everything from my toes to the crown of my head was enough to send my thoughts spinning. I’m not sure if it was several months or several years later, but eventually the postures became familiar, the yogic breath became a habit, and my practice became much more fluid. I cared less about how the poses looked and more about how they felt, and with that my expression of the postures changed.
When I practice now, I try to let my thoughts rest exclusively on my breath in order that the poses may become an expression of what my mind, heart, and physical body need. Some days I find stillness in the postures helps to ground me while other days I want to play, trying new variations and flowing dynamically. By staying present with each moment of your practice, you will discover which expression makes the most sense for you at that exact point in time. In this way, your yoga will more fully meet the changing needs of your mind-body-heart, keeping your physical body safe, your mind steady, and your heart happy. –Michelle Laxton