With the holiday season starting, this is a perfect reminder for our students to slow down and be present. There is no greater gift then presence. The best news, once you realize you aren’t present – you are! Presence is also something that needs to be worked on and strengthened. How do we do this? Yoga of course!
The following theme can be used either for your own personal practice, or for your group classes or one on ones that you are teaching. Everything below is just a guide based on my thoughts and experiences in the moment. Feel free to change anything to better suit your teaching/practice style or so that it feels more authentic to you and your own teaching voice. Namasté
Theme: Slow Down
Quote: “Why is [presence] the most precious thing? … because it is the only thing. It’s all there is. The eternal present is the space within which your whole life unfolds, the one factor that remains constant. Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be.” – Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now (p.49)
Physical Focus: A slow flow practice set to calm and meditative music (I love compositions by David + Steve Gordon). Don’t shy away from building in a bit of power though through longer holds or more challenging postures if it suits your class. This is actually a positive way to increase stress resiliency by tapping into the sympathetic nervous system in a calm and safe way.
Pranayama: Ujjayi or Whisper breath (slow and steady)
Chakra: 1st chakra – grounding
Niyama: Ishvara Pranidhana – surrender
Mudra: Cin Mudra, pointer finger and thumb connect
Teach Mountain Pose. I mean, actually teach it. Not as a transition pose, not as something to do in between everything else. There is great power in this posture “tadasana” (the Sanskrit translation) play on the word: Ta-da!! and remind your students what Yoga really is: quieting the mind or the restraints of the modifications of the mind-stuff. The poses help us release excess energy and stay fit and healthy, but we need the moments in between to be still and be present.
Please ensure you are incorporated a short 2-5 minute seated meditation at the end of the class to remind your students of the power of the present moment and on how they can continue this practice in their everyday life off the mat as well.