The inspiration for my classes this week is kaivalya or freedom. This builds on last week’s idea of letting go. Sometimes we have to let go of something to experience greater freedom.
Freedom as a goal of yoga
You could say that freedom is one of the goals of a yoga practice. This might be as simple as feeling that your shoulders are a bit looser after a class or perhaps you find yourself free of stress for a short while afterwards. With repeated, consistent practice, we can experience greater and greater freedom, both to move our body and in the way we think and behave.
Breaking free from bad habits
Yoga can be many things but what has particularly helped me with my mental and physical health is my growing ability to choose my habits, and break old ones that no longer serve me. My body moves much more freely now than it did when I started practicing yoga about 17 years ago. I feel that I’ve changed postural habits and am in the processing of establishing better ones. It’s also supported me in the way I approach my work, my relationships and myself, creating space for me to notice where my habits of thinking and doing are unhelpful. It’s a work in progress but I’m gradually shifting into healthier ways of relating, internally and externally.
Yoga can help you experience freedom as you age
As I approach 50, I’m starting to notice that I’m freer of aches and pains than my contemporaries. These things are often put down to a ‘natural’ aging process but my yoga practice has shown to me at least, that age doesn’t have to mean becoming less mobile, less free. I see this in my students too, who report better balance, more energy, a better ability to reach for things, better sleep. I’m passionate about teaching yoga that can help improve all these things, whatever age you are, and I believe you can start reaping the benefits of yoga at any age.
Your yoga practice
You can try applying these ideas the next time you’re on your mat or even right now. Consider the following suggestions:
- Notice whether there are restrictions or a lack of freedom anywhere in your body, try to do this gently and with kindness.
- Does a feeling of space or freedom occur in any part of the body during your yoga practice or when you move?
- Notice whether your thoughts get ‘stuck’ during your yoga practice or when you try to do something for yourself. They might get stuck on a way of talking to yourself for example, or on an expectation of yourself. Is it possible to let go of those thoughts or to allow some space around them?
- Are you able to breathe freely? Does this change during certain movements or at certain times?
How did you find that? I’d love to hear your answers below or you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’d like to explore these ideas further, and how they relate to you and your practice, a 1 to 1 session with me could be just what you need. The benefits include:
- a yoga practice tailored specifically to your needs and preferences
- the full attention of an experienced, knowledgeable and friendly teacher
- quicker results in making the change you desire
I run private sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays at €50 per hour. These can take place on Zoom or in my yoga space in Waterville, Co Kerry. Please check my schedule for current availability.