Jamie Fink Photography

RYT-200 BLOG

Compassion

REFLECTIONS

I walked into CorePower after work today with a headache that had persisted through the late afternoon. I was looking forward to getting through class, hopeful that my headache disappear. My original intention was to focus on myself through class, but I couldn't quite get there. I began to plan the rest of the evening, intent on attending a C1 class after C2 (there was no teacher training today, just practice). I felt selfish for focusing my intention on myself rather than extending it outwards.

Our instructor began with a message about Ahimsa, the same non-harming Yamas I had described in my last post. Instead of focusing on gratitude, Isabelle brought her own interpretation of the concept. She brought compassion to the forefront of our practice by inviting us to spread it both outwards and inwards: to others, and to ourselves.

Her words resonated with me. They allowed me to pause and reflect on how I've been treating my body. Why has my headache lasted for three hours? Because I ate chocolate in the afternoon knowing that I wouldn't react well to sugar. Or was it because I focused on screens all day and I forgot to take a few moments to look away. Regardless of the specifics, I was not being compassionate to my body. I have been so immersed in taking time for my mental health that I have ignored the vessel that contains my mind.

If I am not grounded in myself, there's no way that my lines of positive energy will meet another person. This is my interpretation of Yamas and Niyamas. Only when I am at peace with my mental and physical self—with my Niyamas—can I move forward with my Yamas.

CUES + POSITIONS

Today's C2 class brought two achievements: Tree Pose and Side Crow.

Tree Pose has always come easy to me. I do well with balance postures. But today, I did something different. Instead of placing the sole of my foot on my inner thigh, I allowed myself to go for my calf instead.

Over the past few months, my usual Tree Pose (shown below by the wonderful Lindsay) has caused knee discomfort at the joint. This evening, with the goal of being compassionate to my body, I did what was better for myself by modifying.

Lindsay ( @lsgeez ) in Tree Pose

Lindsay (@lsgeez) in Tree Pose

Side Crow, on the other hand, has never been easy for me. I haven't actually practiced it in months. Today, though, I was able to put myself into a Side Crow on both sides. I've seen that I'm making progress mentally, but it's amazing to see how I'm physically improving as well.

This journey is constantly taking me to new poses and practices that I never thought I would go. But with guidance from my instructors who share my values and who are compassionate enough to share their practice with me, I know I'm in the right place.