Lately my yoga practice has been slow and strong. I imagine myself moving through honey and feeling as many subtleties of each pose as I can. To me, moving through honey means becoming aware of the many sensations that arise through movement; it means breathing into every sensation, whether it feels sticky or sweet. I've noticed that the simple act of moving slow and truly feeling -- whether that feeling is the expansion of my chest in a backbend or the little flares that erupt in my belly during core work -- ultimately is the gateway to knowing myself and my body better.
When we surrender to an experience rather than resist it or try to move through it quickly, we can catch the subtle messages running through that experience. Whether something feels pleasurable or challenging, the gamut of feelings we are blessed to experience are all teachers. Learning to surrender to these sensations is inherently feminine. Qualities of the feminine include receptivity, trust, tenderness, surrender, softness and so much more. When we can learn to lean into our sensations and savor them like the best bite of food, we start to stir up and activate our feminine power and force.
On the mat, moving through honey makes things sweeter. We don't miss a beat. We feel every muscle fire and we feel every vibration and tingle. We feel energy passing through our channels. We realize that we are dynamic and full of life force and high vibrational energy. This leads to gratitude and appreciation for ourselves and others. It makes us feel more confident and strong and connected. Small sensations expand and take up the space of the moment. We see more light in the little things, like the fact that our bodies can move in these ways (which actually isn't such a little thing. It's a huge incredible thing).
When we see more advanced poses, like the forearm balance below, we can shift our perception from thinking we'll never get into a pose like that to enjoying the process of working toward the pose. We revel in all the new sensations that arise when we work toward a new shape in our bodies. We revel in the process of growing stronger, more flexible and open. The journey toward the pose becomes more important than the actual pose because of everything that gets stirred up in that process. We open new layers of our being. We discover new parts of ourselves. We are reminded of the insane power and magic of the body. I'm telling you, moving like you're moving through honey and feeling eeeeeverything really is the sweetest.
It reignites our inherent capacity for joy.
This is a great lesson for those of us who are just beginning yoga and those of us who have been doing yoga for years. Below is a short tutorial for how to work toward forearm stand. The point is not to enter the pose (although, if you do, that's a sweet bonus!). The point is to meet yourself where you are. Notice where you need to stay and feel to build the strength and flexibility needed to get into forearm stand. Maybe you need to practice forearm plank for a while before moving forward. Maybe you can get into forearm stand already but can benefit from staying in dolphin pose a little longer, building the strength to enter forearm stand with more control or working on your forearm press. Wherever you are, be with the sensations that arise. Notice what opens for you. Simply notice what you notice and allow the breath to flow in and out freely.