The Music of Yoga

The Music of Yoga

There’s magic in asana practice. There is magic in the vinyasa flow.

The most important thing I have learned so far on my journey towards understanding that magic…

(And I use the word magic here to describe this incredible feeling I have felt. And also, for lack of a better word…)

The most striking thing I have learned… I learned banging away at my guitar one day. Long before I rolled out a yoga mat for the first time.

It was only when I was practicing for my asana and teaching practical exam, spending hours on the mat, listening to all different types of music, that I realised I was trying to ‘catch the beat’, just like playing a musical instrument or dancing..

I have come to feel now that all these things were yoga practices all along. Strong practices. Practices that among other life experiences, prepared me for being able to feel the music, the magic in a Sun Salutation. Or a Jivamukti, or Vinyasa Flow yoga class.

Once you feel it. You want more. You want to understand it. You find yourself drawn to your mat again and again, not to get a good stretch or to have a good body, although of course those thoughts drift though your mind, at least they do for me. I’m rather conditioned by social norms, although I try to be aware of this.

But when I roll out my mat, and feel out my body. I’m excited. I’m drawn in. What will happen today? It’s not even about ‘how stretchy can this pose be today’, although I have ego! I love to stretch further to feel stronger, healthier, fearless. I want that too.

But somehow some days even that sort of goes away. And I am just experiencing this continuous feeling. Completely present.  Dancing through the moments with intense feelings of content.

Its so smooth.

So beautiful.

In that moment where you feel like your body was made for you, and you were made for it and there is perfect harmony in every cell and every breath.

That’s where the music is, for me.

And I believe this feeling is transferable. Or at least..

It is my belief, from my personal experience as a student and now as a teacher.  That one can be shown the means to reach the music.

The music of yoga.

– ♡Tammy

How to #practice #yoga without a Selfie Stick

How to #practice #yoga without a Selfie Stick

  1. Hike up a mountain
  2. Keep your practice Steady and Joyful (Sthira Sukham Asanam), and follow the EIGHT photographic examples below:

3.1 Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

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3.2 Vajrasana (Rock Pose)

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3.3 South African Lotus Pose (Protea Pose)

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3.4 Ekapadasana ( One foot Pose )

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3.5 Utkatasana (Fierce chair pose)

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3.6 Don’t forget to apply Mula Bandha (Root lock) …

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3.7 …  while attempting Vrikshasana (Tree Pose) ….

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3.8 … or Eka Hasta Ardha Adho Mukha Vrikshasana (One Handed Half Upside-down Tree Pose or rather, One Handed Half Handstand)

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4. Tut tut… Looks like Rain…

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😀 😀 😀

–   ❤ Tammy

Dhyana: Meditation

Dhyana: Meditation

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Today I started on my fifty minute meditation practice again. I have been so caught up in life experiences and discovering what my body can accomplish through yoga asana (posture/ seat or connection to the earth) practice that I have found myself neglecting this practice of the mix of mindfulness, dharana (concentration),  and pratyahara (sense withdrawal), that I refer to as meditation.

I had forgotten how calming it can be to sit down and watch all your thoughts for a full fifty minutes.

Not calming during the fifty minutes necessarily.  Challenges are sure to come up and do for me all the time! Especially when your knees feel like they are pulling out of their sockets and your right foot goes completely numb, and that space between your shoulder blades that you were working so hard in headstead and handstand practice the day before, that had been a nice reminder of a good time spent on the mat, suddenly becomes an urgent physical signal.

And of course every emotional and thought and observation about those thoughts and emotions demand immediate attention too. To the point where you are actually extremely grateful for the physical pain just to distract you from everything you have been pretending you can avoid thinking about for the last who knows… For the last too long a time. At least in my case.

Quite intense.

Did someone say sitting still was easy?? That person has not tried it.

And of course, it being a little while since I attempted a long unguided seated meditation, I stood up too quickly after I was done.

Big mistake.  Big. Huge.

Pins and needles and that feeling in the back of your throat and neck, and tongue that is your body trying to red light you that something is NOT RIGHT in the general leg vicinity, somewhere directly below the knee…

And you have to pull mula bhanda (clenching and lifting the pulvic floor and all the ‘bits’ in the nether regions) just to get through because now you can’t find a way to move your feet which no longer feel like they are attached to you body..  And pain. Lots of pain.

And then it’s suddenly over.

And you thank yourself for your practice.

And the reward is a calm and clarity of heart and mind. And your mind forgets the pain, just in time to try it all again tomorrow. 

Because why?

Is ‘because it helps’ not a good enough answer?

I guess that is a good answer. And certainly it is a truth.

But the real answer is… Because of that need. That searching. Not for something better or different. But rather for something deeper, quieter, slower, and more profound.

And sometimes in my various practices of yoga, the least of which is definitely not dharana practice, if we can quantify these things by comprison to each other. Which we can’t.

But sometimes.

You catch a glimpse of something beautiful.  Something beyond words. Although words are the meduim through which I will continue to endeavour to share this with others. Words, directions. Demostrations. Pulling you into position like a rag doll .. What ever it takes in the moment.

Because yoga is amazing

♡ Tammy

About Me: #yoga #living

Hi, and welcome to my website / blog / info / photos / and all that fun stuff.

A little introduction here.

My name is Tammy, and I came into yoga, mindfulness and meditation, sort of like most people I guess… Naturally.

I started practicing and going to as many classes as I could, trying every style, for example, Iyenyar Yoga (amazing for strength and alignment, balancing out your body), Kundalini Yoga (amazing for gaining awareness of the body and the self), and Vinyasa Yoga (wonderful for improving concentration, that beautiful ‘flow’ feeling, like you’re dancing, and for strength and flexibility).

The more I practiced, the more I wanted to practice.

From a sporting perspective, I have a very strong Martial Arts background, and this made it easier to fall into Yoga practice. I was amazed to find this way to move my body, that satisfied my needs as an avid martial arts lover, but managed to do so without ever hurting anyone! In fact quite the opposite. This healing practice we fondly call Yoga.

From a teaching perspective, I taught Martial Arts for a couple of years when I was younger, but again, I never felt like it was quite the exact right ‘fit’ for me. I LOVED the ‘Kata’, or karate forms, and the art of playing and mentally finding ways to mold with your opponent, but of course, as soon as it got serious, I did not want to hurt anyone!

I am also a qualified teacher (BEd, Intermediate and Senior Phases, UNISA), and among all the usual subjects that go with those phases, I had always enjoyed teaching Physical Education. And Maths. Yes. Maths is a strangely satisfying and challenging phenomenon to teach. Indeed! There is maths in yoga assists, just like there is music in Yoga flow…

Basically. Yoga means a lot to me.

The natural step forward was to do the somewhat scary, and challenging, but also turned out to be at times simply exhilarating, 200hr Vinyasa training course.

And now I have done that, through Air Yoga Cape Town. Which has added a wonderful Jivamukti Yoga bias to my teaching and personal Yoga practice. (Jivamukti, amazing for discovering things about yourself, and for those who want to do ‘something like the vigorous Ashtanga practice’, but don’t have three hours every morning, every single day, to do so. These Jivamuktis have devised a way to get all the benefits of the long Ashtanga practice into an hour, or an hour and a half of Asana (posture/ seat to the earth) practice.

Having also studied undergraduate psychology, my approach to yoga teaching follows a ‘person centered’ path. I love to figure out where people are struggling, and get in there and try my utmost to give them something to ‘lean against’ while they work towards their own healing.

Everyone is healing anyway, but Yoga, from my personal experience, is a very exciting, challenging, profound, amazing… Just a great way to go about it.

Oh and it helps you get strong and bendy, and aids with digestion and pumps toxins out of your body, improves sleep patterns and helps with general well being and health, gives you a chance to run around in yoga pants, if you want, (and yes, guys can wear yoga pants too), and all that stuff, as well. 🙂

More specifically, the style I teach is closely related to ‘Integral Yoga‘. Which basically means I take a synthesis of everything, from my personal experiences, and then I try to find the best ways I can to help others experience all the amazing things I have experienced.

Because Yoga is amazing.

-Tammy