Santosha – ContentmentMay 18, 2013
Transitional MeJune 12, 2013
The “All You Can Kushala” Experience
I’d seen month long Yoga Challenges advertised before but, to be honest, it was never something I felt a desire to take part in. Mainly because I am cheap and lazy….although there were deeper reasons as well. I always had a sense I would be unable to commit to it and not achieve the number of classes deemed necessary for ‘success’……..Enter Kushala’s “Choose Your Own Yoga Challenge”. Given the framing and flexibility of this particular one, I started to consider possible participation. After hours of intense deliberation, with both my accountant and couch potato personalities, I decided “What the hell”…..this being the phrase which preempts the vast majority of decisions in my life.
I started my Challenge by attending the ‘opening ceremony’. During this class we were asked to consider setting our goal. Hmmm. Ummm. Darn it! Now although this was the reason I joined the Challenge, I had not actually given any thought to what goal I would set myself. So being one of the great avoiders, I just didn’t really make one. I was vague and wishy-washy with myself…or would that be “I was open to allowing my goal to discover itself”. Yes! Now that sounds much better.
One decision I did make immediately was to attend ALL meditation classes that my work schedule allowed. This turned out to be a grand total of 2! I know! It doesn’t sound like much eh. However, this did total 1 hour worth of meditation. Given that my personal attempts meditating usually last around the 2-7min mark, I actually felt pretty darn thrilled with this. And thanks to the Challenge I discovered how quickly time dissolves in a Group ‘sit’ compared to the hour-long-minutes experienced when ‘sitting’ alone. I also learned I fidget less, mentally and physically, when meditating against a wall – with a block at my mid back – who knew! (Thanks for the tip Karen.)
The next commitment I made was to attend both of Sean’s Yoga Nidra classes. Apart from anything else, I really wanted to lay down for an entire class and get a ‘star’ for it! These guided relaxation sessions felt like a soft warm blanket. It isn’t often I give myself the gift of doing nothing but breathing and relaxing for 40mins. Who has the time for that eh! (And yet there is always time to watch another Law & Order re-run, or see the Canucks lose a playoff game….sigh.)
It was hard to wrap my head around these activities being ‘worthwhile’. Why is it we consider exhausting ourselves more beneficial than resting ourselves? Why does guilt so often attach itself to rest? These thoughts, and others like them, can be found at local stockists of silence and stillness.
Sticking with the Sean theme, I also decided to take advantage of both ‘Yoga of Eating’ sessions. I must say these were way more interesting than ‘Food Inc.’ and similarly inspiring. I totally appreciated the ectasy of consuming the tiny chocolate piece and now feel much better about my 8 cookie days!
So, here I am, nearly 500 words in and no mention of any actual honest-to-goodness yoga classes – that is the joy of the ‘All You Can Kushala’ Experience…..it’s not just about the downward dog.
(I would like to note that during the Challenge I did attend 4 Hatha, 6 Yin (yes my hips are still having nightmares), 3 Candlelight and 3 Pilates classes. My instructors included Chris, Karen, Trevor, Shelly, Sean, Nicole and Claudia.)