Excerpt from our Barkan Method September Newsletter!
In the west we tend to live in a very competitive, performance oriented society. When I first started practicing Hot Yoga my teacher set the bar extremely high. My training consisted of three to four Hot Yoga classes a day for two years! We did classes back to back without a break; 9AM, 10:30AM and 12PM advanced. We returned for the 4:30M class. (I do NOT recommend doing that much Hot Yoga BTW)! I strived to be the best Yogi in the room, actually, best Yogi in the school. I needed a competitive drive to survive that many classes.
I opened my first Fort Lauderdale Yoga School in January 1983 and continued to practice three to four sometimes five classes a day with my students. Around the turn of the century my body matured BUT so did my perspective. My realization;
The Curve: We all start at the bottom of the curve, gaining flexibility, strength and awareness through our yoga practice. It’s hard to tell when but at one point in your practice you will hit your personal peak, the top of the Curve. Might be ten, fifteen even twenty years. Inevitably, maturity-gravity takes over and our bodies respond differently. Yoga and meditation can inspire us to observe and accept our aging body and with self-acceptance comes new a perspective.
On the other-down side of the curve, your body may not be the same but your awareness will continue to increase. Here’s my favorite recipe for success in practicing yoga postures: Find your starting point in each pose WITHOUT judgment, everyday may be be different. and then just find the next inch, (or 2.5 centimeters for my peeps who don’t live in US).
So wherever you may be on your Curve, even if you haven’t hit your peak, keep in the mind the perfect pose will be fleeting. Patanjali’s fourth Niyama, Swadhyaya which means self-study, introspection that will only continue to improve with time!