I got to teach on Sunday, and while the class was listed as "Rock Your Bhakti" - on of my faves - it was much more an opportunity for a Devotional Flow. A chance to go a little slower, a little deeper and to explore moments, rather than making them.
Now, I'm back home, prepping my 1920's Bungalow for having a new foundation put in - after 80 years, the pier and beam system of tree trunks has collapsed and it shows. I'm living off kilter, so to speak. Makes one thing a lot about foundation, security, solidity and such! Makes me think about what I'm practicing, what I'm teaching, where I'm 'coming from...'
Vinyasa, it's about 'intelligent sequencing' or 'to place in order', not about moving swiftly or getting a hardcore workout. It's a 'work in' and an opportunity to observe how we allow and even use the momentum of our lives to carry us through our days.
I really like to stress to folks to slow way down - like I like to say, 'slow is the new swift.' So, when I teach, we do some great sweaty flows, but like we're moving through molasses or in a thick haze of sensation. I'm working to create a space to experience the very real difference between moving from momentum or moving from intention. The folks in Tulsa seemed to really dig this and dive deep with me.
In a vinyasa practice, you have to create the efficiency in your practice wherever you can find it - retaining the bandhas and minimizing foundation transitions or modifications... if we can keep the foundation steady, and keep the energy contained within the vessel, then we can really create an intentional subtle power in the asana practice. Rather than rushing through it, treating noble asanas as pass-throughs rather than the vessel for experience they can offer - staying present, moving into the sensation instead of away from it; this is what motivates my teaching.
At times, when practicing, you may be experiencing some real challenges with both balance and having the core strength to be able to hold balances and inversions. It's just what that practice is today, but in the absence of 'feeling the flow' and really harnessing that power, one must concentrate on just looking for more opportunities for grounding, and for minimizing the movements from that stability.
Move more intentionally, reduce the momentum as you find the intention.
Think of how you might have become 'habitual' in your practice, and learn to mark that moment by creating 'ritual' - imbue the moments with meaning and purpose.
Even when you stumble, you pick up your step and move it on down the line. You concentrate on setting a stable base, then moving from that base with engagement.
Move into it, even shakily - when you feel off balance, eliminate distractions and just keep on the perseverance and in the work. Concentrate on the transitions between actions - make meaning, erase the momentum that fosters mindlessness. Take some deep breaths, get your purpose, and put meaning into the actions. Not for them to work out, but for you to be able to experience moving from purpose.
Is there someplace you've been 'failing' lately that you can readdress your efforts? Is there something you've been meaning to do? What's got you down, or held back, or troubled?? Can you try to approach it, mindfully and purposefully and see if you can create an elegant vinyasa off your mat, even if there's a face plant!?
And, give thanks and praise!