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When we do yoga we engage in a conversation with our body. I always encourage my students to observe, closely, what their bodies are telling them. Just in that moment. Because the constant is change. Doing Utkatasana hundreds of times does teach us that there is always a different element. Our minds, our bodies, our emotions are always changing.

Standing in mountain pose encourages us to notice and to learn that we can stand alone, without support. That we can stand strong for what we believe in. Halasana – plough pose – puts us in a place where we can become introspective. We face our secrets. Delightful secrets, some a little less so. What is our choice of response to those? In Uttanasana or another pose like shoulder stand, we see the world from a different perspective. What is our interpretation of that then?

I compare it to having a conversation with another person. We notice the body language – someone taking a peek at their watch might mean that they want to be or have to be somewhere else, and so is not fully present. Facing you directly with a relaxed stance means that they really are comfortable and interested talking to you. Tiny little clues to what might be going on in that person’s mind.

So is the conversation we have with our bodies when we practice yoga. Perhaps when scanning the body one might find something a little rigid, a little out of balance. What is the emotion behind that? What is my choice of response to that? Do I approach it with ahimsa (non-violence)? Do I approach it with tenderness and respect? What if I find something that feels really good? Do I see it with asteya – truthfulness?  Is there apiragraha? We need to observe with no judgement. Just like a witness.

Doing yoga, for me, is a journey of learning. About myself – how I translate the world. The choices I have. How I want to conduct myself. Learning is growing, the antithesis of stagnancy. It is learning about compassion, for others. To see others in myself and myself in others.

And then, to use and to share what I learn, as I go about my daily life.