Written by: Calista Evraets
One of the things we often talk about in yoga practice is being present. Being present can mean a lot of different things, but lately I’ve noticed that while I don’t have too much difficulty being present with the each individual pose, I tend to ignore the transition from one pose to the next as if they were dead space. I’m in such a hurry to reach the next pose and be present, and I fail to notice the way I get there. Recently, I spent a couple of classes paying special attention to my body during those transitions. What was moving? What was stable? At what moment was the tension on a certain muscle released? Where did I feel the stretch as I moved into that forward fold?
With some exercises and poses, the majority of the muscle growth takes place during the return rather than the holding of the position or pose. I realized I’ve been wasting the potential for growth by rushing through the transitions to get to the next pose. Sometimes taking it slower results in a better physical workout!
Life often mirrors my yoga practice, and the transitions in my practice led me to note the transitions in my life. I’m too frequently guilty of rushing from one thing to the next without noticing the journey. As big life changes come along, I’m looking forward to the next phase, trying to hurry through the transition where I don’t feel that anything is happening. In doing so, I’ve missed the potential for personal growth. So much of life is a transition! How much did I gloss over in my haste to get to a better place?
I challenge you to notice the journey and the transitions, both in yoga and in life outside of your practice! It can be as simple as noting the change in the fall leaves from one work commute to the next, or using that drive time to listen to an audio book or some music that feeds your soul! It could come in the form of looking at how you’ve grown as you wait for that promotion you’re expecting, or for your baby to sleep through the night. What has changed? What has stayed stable? Be present today during your transitions, and see how much you can grow!