A Zoo Reflection
Clarity of practice is an extremely powerful experience.
Last weekend, 900 people came together for Yoga at the Detroit Zoo, representing every level of experience with yoga. Everyone worked through their practice to find an edge – whether it was their first time in downward facing dog or they were midway through teacher training. Because our students worked to find patience and discipline in their postures, they were able to connect with others engaging in their own stillness. The event felt powerful, and so cohesive, as a result.
In our day-to-day lives, we are often surrounded by chaos. Sometimes, as a result or as an escape, we find ourselves craving the rush of vinyasa, or the erratic nature of constant movement and flow. But since we can find that in every other part of our lives, why not, during class, focus on being still? Our yoga practice is one of the few opportunities we have to cultivate stillness within ourselves. Finding patience and stillness within our practice is something Citizen encourages constantly – quietness is an edge that students can work towards and push beyond, just the same as the physical edge of a pose and the intellectual edge of yoga practice.
In a class with clear intention, any student can focus on working an edge, on growing, on strengthening themselves, no matter where they are that day. Every posture offers three edges to work through – physical, emotional, and intellectual. Imagine someone who has been practicing yoga for years and years. She might have hit Warrior I a thousand times, so the physical edge of that posture doesn’t challenge her today. However, it might be the emotional edge of finding stillness within that pose that provides the practice its edge. Another day, when stillness has come easier, she might focus on the intellectual edge of Warrior I. Where am I focusing my energy? Are all of my parts aligning the way I want to, or the way they should be? Ultimately, the combination of all of those edges – the physical, emotional, and intellectual – makes up the challenges that every pose presents, in various combinations and frequencies, to yoga students every day.
At the zoo, we worked to ensure that each person had the opportunity to find and tackle an edge. Once you find that quietness in your practice, you can be engaged and fully present no matter where you are – on your mat at home, or within a crowd of thousands. That’s why we want to emphasize stillness – it allows you to work hard within yourself, within a crowd, within a community. In private practice, during class, and at huge events like the zoo, Citizen’s goal is to teach to every individual student: together, we will keep providing space to work those edges, with effort, ease, and clarity.
Join us for our next BIG event, Yoga at the Big House! Labor Day Weekend in Ann Arbor, MI! More Info: www.theyogamovement.net
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