Yoga is a great metaphor for balance or going with the flow in life. But lately I’ve been thinking about how it’s also a good symbol for bringing about and adjusting to a change in routine. Because sometimes even a practice can seem a bit routine, albeit a routine I always look forward to doing. And while this is not to say that a whole class is a routine, which isn’t likely unless you’re taking the same video over and over again, but certain points about a class or a class’s structure. Like starting class.
I set up class the same way, and usually about 15 minutes before (yes, even from home). From home I may do a few things before actually laying down on my mat – like trying to keep the cat busy – but I’ll still come to my mat, with my blocks up at the front, water bottle just next to them, and then I’ll lie back down on my back and close my eyes. This is my routine. It’s how I prepare transitioning from the day to this time on my mat.
But over the last few months, I’ve noticed some of my teachers starting us off differently. Sometimes we’ve started standing at the top of the mat (what? You can start standing?) and other times it’s been on the belly, that is if it’s comfortable and accessible to the student, which offers a way to feel the breath as the stomach presses against the mat.
Now admittedly, if I’m laying back my first thought might be along the lines of “but I’m so comfortable right here!” And yet, isn’t that kind of the point? To change things up a bit, to break from the routine of what’s comfortable?
Starting standing brings a different energy for me. Whether it’s starting proud in mountain or maybe even starting moving, I’m more energized earlier on. Now while starting on my stomach, I feel more aware of my breath throughout my practice and maybe it’s because of that initial feeling of breathing against my mat. And even though I might have been comfortable right where I was, there’s something intriguing – and exciting – for something out of my ordinary.
I don’t know if it truly is something that more classes have started differently over the last few months, or with how into my routine I’ve become, I’m just noticing it more when it does happen because it’s something different. Noticing that difference can provide something else to look forward to: How do we get to start class today?
And if starting on our backs, then I’m finding even more enjoyment when I do get to start a class in that comfortable savasana beginning.