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I don’t go to yoga flow classes very often. It isn’t that I don’t like them. I do… I LOVE them… but I have to be so careful in a flow class. My tendency is to go too far and injure myself. I think it is because I was a competitive athlete when I was younger. I was trained to push the body beyond it’s capacity. That is how you win races. You go beyond what you think you can do. Athletes spend a lot of time with their coaches. In my case my coach became almost like a parental figure. I trained rowing with his daughter so the dynamic was even more so. I trusted him with my body. I believed I could make it do what he said it could. And it did… and we won races. I also experienced the start of knee injuries from having overdeveloped quadriceps at the ripe old age of 15.

When a yoga teacher in a flow class says to do something I do it. At least I used to. Usually I can do what they say but not always with the integrity or control that I should. I am learning to step back. Do less. Listen to my body.

Last night I went to Tracey Noseworthy’s flow class. Her style is called Jala Yoga and she is a wonderful teacher. The class was packed and the energy was high. Her flows were beautiful, incorporating strength with breath, endurance with movement. I do enough of my own yoga that I was able to move through most of the class with relative ease despite the amped up speed. By the end though my body became tired. I could see my old patterns emerge. She would do some glorious pose and I really wanted to be able to do it. The most advanced option too! But I was tired, my form was getting sloppy. I backed out, stepped back, mellowed my practice down to match my energy. It was the right thing to do but I squirmed a bit emotionally as I was doing it. “Let go of the striving” I kept reminding myself. It was an interesting process. Letting go of the competitive aspect of myself. See how often I actually listen to the messages I have learned in my own practice and applying them to a Moderate/Vigorous flow class. I did really enjoy myself though and loved seeing how she has grown as a teacher since I last took her class (4 years ago)

Oh and I have a short plug for her upcoming fundraiser tomorrow if you are in Victoria area. It is called “Global Mala” and all raised funds will be donated  to the United Way which is a wonderful non-profit that helped me son and I during a tough time. 108 Sun Salutations!

Photo is Shiva Rea who I “think” Tracey may have trained with (or at least have been inspired by).