One of my teachers, Gina Caputo, once said, “You can always pick out the advanced students in the room. They are the ones who actually will find balasana (child’s pose) during their practice.” This speaks volumes to me. The opportunity to take a break, reconnect with breath and intention and enjoy some introspection during my practice is many times more challenging than that day’s peak pose.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that doing advanced poses makes you an advanced practitioner. While this can be true it is not always the case. Yoga is much more than a series of poses. It’s when we can turn inward to become more connected to ourselves and take that outward to become more connected to others that we really advance.
Regardless of which poses are in my asana practice, when I move with intention and as a full body prayer the practice is more challenging, more enjoyable and more peaceful. When my focus is on full and complete ujayii breaths, my practice is elevated. When my practice is woven with intention and meaning it also lingers with me when I walk away from the mat.
So, they next time we’re in class together, join me in balasana, full breath or make your practice a full body mudra and we’ll take a few steps forward together.