Feel Your Yoga Fridays!
Do you feel your yoga poses? Sounds like a strange question, but the reality is many of us strike a pose rather than experiencing the journey through the pose. The difference between the two is one feels as though we are muscling through to arrive at the end destination, while the other involves grace.
There are so many distractions that get in the way while on our yoga mat deterring from the experience and the evolution of our practice. The subconscious mind (citta), is the storehouse of conscious impressions. Every conscious experience becomes a subconscious impression. Therefore, if we are consciously critical of the pose, we are unable to change the experience. The criticism rises from the ego aspect of the brain, or what is referred to as the ahamkara; literally meaning "I am doing." Before we can change the experience, we must overhaul the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is like the vast area of the iceberg that exists under the surface. This is the aspect of the citta mind that yoga is most concerned with. If the subconscious is not in alignment, we cannot make the changes on the conscious level and, in turn, on our mats and in our lives. It is through the in-breath and out-breath that feed into one another the mind can soften, the turbulent waves calm, and transformation can arise.
The journey through asana (pose), whereby the pose is done through YOU is the quintessential feeling of grace in your practice. The overmind, intuitive part of the mind where intellect is transformed into higher intuition, sees the difference between illusion and reality. It is the compassionate mind and seeks nothing for its separate self. This is the level of grace in your yoga practice. However, the distractions of the conscious mind can wreak havoc on the path to the Buddhi overmind level.
One of the biggest distractions I find my students have on the mat besides their laundry list of things to do after class, is the integrity of their yoga mat. This is especially prevalent with new yogis. It's amazing to see over the years how many students are slip sliding away in their down dog, or rolling around during ground poses trying to get comfortable. Trust me, it's difficult enough to concentrate on the breath to ease the busy mind without having to worry about the integrity of your yoga mat.
I decided it was time to do a little research in this area and came across a helpful guide to yoga mats. I thought to share it with you all. Selecting the appropriate yoga mat for your needs and budget can be difficult, especially with all the false advertising out there. Lucky for us, a team of researchers at Reviews.com did the legwork for us, investing over 50 hours of research to figure out what qualities constitute a good mat.
In this guide, they outline the 8 most important features to look out for when selecting your best yoga mat:
- Durability and longevity
- Comfort and support
- Traction and stickiness
- Environmental consideration
I was so excited to find this information for my yoga students. Now there is one less obstacle on our yogic journey! Have fun exploring what to seek (and what to avoid) when purchasing a yoga mat here.
Mary Jane Feng Shui Yoga Girl: www.fengshuiyoganj.com