It’s finally coming together, guys! I had not one, not two, but three one-on-one sessions with yoga and pilates students this week. Even better – I still like it once I did it which is more than I can say about a lot of other projects, so WOO! Who is next??
Each student was coming at this practice from a different angle, but I realized a similar theme worked for all of them, which also works for my classes this week. Hence, I am bringing back my dormant Yoga Off the Mat series to ask you:
how does this feel?
Since I’m creating all these lesson plans around the question, how does this feel, I’ve thought about it in my own life. When I’ve gotten road rage and when I’m sitting down to another bowl of clean eating challenge salad now made me think. (Funny enough, I can actually feel full after a salad if I listen to my belly, not my mind. Who knew?!) When I had the inevitable post vacation blues Sunday night, I asked myself how does this feel to see what the real problem was. (Turns out I was sad to leave Pablo, but also sad to realize that I probably won’t see her for another year. With kids and budgets, we can’t jump up and travel like we used to. Sad trombone.)
This is such a loaded question, right?!
Of course we should start with the physical sensations of life.
Is a yoga pose stretching me in a good way or does it hurt?
Do my legs feel like they can run me up this hill or am I asking for trouble if I try? Could I try a little harder?
Where exactly is the headache – truly in my head or in my shoulders?
How does my posture feel right now?
Am I hungry or just bored?
Those questions are relatively easy, but just taking the time to ask yourself brings you back to the present – the “experience”, if you will.
But let’s go further.
Do I feel happy when I eat the chocolate chip cookie? Do I even notice the flavors of the cookie as I snarf? I think I’m supposed to feel guilty when I eat it, but dangit, it tastes good.
Is my ego telling my legs they don’t have the power to climb the hill vs actually being too tired to try?
Am I really mad at the crying baby that keeps getting me up at 3 am or frustrated that I don’t know how to solve the problem? Is it really that big a deal that she’s not sleeping a perfect night’s sleep yet?
How do I feel after an interaction with my spouse?
I think I look good when I get dressed for work, but do these close really feel like me? Is this who I truly am?
You can take this simple question – how does this feel – all the way to the meaning of life or you can keep it back on the surface. Either way, the pause will give you great insight on your day, your habits, your relationships, and your self-esteem.
Do what you will with the information you gain. Perhaps this can lead to changed habits. Maybe you’ll realize you can workout (or work or relax or love) a little harder. Maybe you’ll realize you are just checking off boxes in your day, not noticing anything good or bad.
If you’re up for sharing, I’d love to hear what you’ve learned.