Yoga changed my life.
Yoga changed my life, not just learning asanas/postures, not just becoming more physically flexible, not just gaining upper body and core strength. Those things are awesome, and I am grateful for them, however the quiet, present, introspective moments on my mat, connecting to my breath, and praying that I would be okay in this crazy world, THAT is what changed my life. So, if the life changing moments happen in the mindful moment, the quiet center of the pose, or while doing the ugly cry in a hip opener that is shedding your trauma, is it okay to also have FUN during a yoga practice?
I believe life is all about balance. We learn to balance on our mats, so we can bring better balance to life off the mat. We find yin and yang. We learn about ease and effort. And finally I think we can learn about seriousness and fun.
When I meet students on the mat with Greene Soul Yoga on the beach doing YOGO we are about to have some fun, but I explain, this hour or so is for fun, for memories, for joy and laughter. Then I encourage them when they get back home, wherever that is, to find a reputable studio or instructor teaching and guiding the fullness of the practice, body, mind and soul.
I also think it is okay to have a practice where the music speaks to YOUR soul! Honey, if that is Dave Matthews band, the Beatles, or in my case from time to time, Taylor Swift, then (as my son would say) you do you! Music rips deep to the core for many of us. It can be an outlet for all sorts of expressions of the soul, and so if it speaks to yours, then go for it!
You have to have the philosophy of yoga, you have to understand the reason you are even putting your body in these funny shapes, you have to bring in your breath, your mindfulness, and meditate, because it is the union of all of this that is the practice of yoga. If you can have them all in the same session, beautiful. Or maybe you have meditation in the morning, asana practice in the afternoon, and quiet reflection and gratitude in the evening, congrats, you lived your yoga this day.
Asana, the postures we do with our physical body, wasn't designed to get us a tight booty or so we could stand on our heads, it was designed so we could come to stillness, and become the witness to our self and to our SELF, and transform from the inside out.
So can the asana practice be fun from time to time? Hell yes! We don't have to take it all so serious all the time, as long as we have respect for ourselves and this ancient practice, we can mix it up and have fun too. In these times that are uncertain and for many of us full of stress, a good laugh, a fun photo at the beach, or a glass of wine in a warrior pose are just what we need to shake off enough of the baggage that holds us in bondage and keeps the scowl permanently plastered on our face. From that lighter place we may be able to open to the other beauties that make yoga a life changing practice.
What can you expect when you do beach yoga with Greene Soul Yoga? You can expect to have a memorable time! You can expect to do poses that are well explained, safely executed and to your level of practice with a chance to learn new things and challenge yourself as well. You can expect a beautiful gulf view, some photos (should you want them) to commemorate this special yoga practice, music (should you choose it) that is pleasant to YOUR experience. You can expect to do nothing but show up and do yoga, mats are provided, set up and clean up are all taken care of for you! You can expect to get warm (aka sweaty) and sandy! AND you can expect to walk away asking yourself, "how soon can I do that again?"