Yoga: Self-Service


Yoga can be a transformative practice, and that’s exactly what it is: practice. When we practice bringing our attention to breath, sensation, and our body’s boundaries, we learn how to become more embodied. Movement is such an innate, wise channel of knowledge about what’s happening on the inside, physiologically, emotionally, and energetically. In my experience, yoga has given me a means by which to communicate with and connect to my body and its needs.

In practice I guide students from one posture to another, building a container where curiosity and awareness help us to develop a felt sense awareness in shape and space. Felt sense can be defined as our ability to feel what is happening in our body, separate from how we want it to feel or what we think we should look and feel like. This awareness and ability to translate what certain sensations mean is an ongoing practice and truly never ends. When we are successful in re-uniting the body and mind, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, things begin to shift:

  • Physically: we are able to access our root system, promoting a sense of grounded-ness, as well as a sense of empowerment as we remember that we have the power to impact our body’s health.

  • Emotionally: once the busy mind quiets (even just a little) and the thoughts slow, we can begin to witness our thought patterns, rather than be immersed and controlled by them.

  • Energetically: with internal presence, we can begin to direct our breath to different areas of energetic holding and build more connection.

In practising yoga through this lens we are welcoming in all of us. And eventually, when the body-mind-spirit feels safe, we are creating space for our own authentic self expression. This is where the magic happens for me. When I look around my classroom and I see students trying out different variations, moving in breath and posture, holding shapes longer or shorter, and taking rest, I feel inspired. It is my desire to create a safe space for you to connect to your body and mind, whatever that looks like today.

In class we will interact with different themes or approaches to sequence, for example some classes may focus on physical feedback working with spinal health or building up to a peak pose, other classes may have more of an emotional/mental approach to playing with curiosity instead of judgment, or some classes could involve the body and mind working in tandem exploring the boundaries of self or noticing what happens when we commit to a practice with 70% effort.

In this space that we create and maintain together, there’s no outside expectation of what you’re supposed to look like, feel like, or move like. As a teacher supporting you, all emotions, responses, and experiences are welcome in my classroom. Not every class feels amazing and nor should it. Some days you’ll feel unfocused, irritated, or sad, and what a gift those days can be. In these classes we are spending time with ourselves just as much as when the flowing is easy and seamless. Here we can practice caring for ourselves when we are sad, we can practice breathing through (or with) our irritation, and acknowledge what’s on our mind, taking up space and asking for attention. These days are so important and are part of yoga.

The Sanskrit term ‘Yoga’, translates to yolk or union. Where does your body desire a greater union, what spaces want to be held, what stories want to be heard? In practice, our yoga postures evolve to be more than just physical shapes, they become recipes for connection and inevitably, healing. Trust me, you don’t have to “know what you’re doing”, there are no prerequisites. All you have to do is show up and you’ll find that the benefits are endless.

Curious about what your body has to say?

meditation, movement, yoganatasha allain