• Your Quarantine Yoga Practice (and Progress) Looks Different, and That’s Okay

    This heightened awareness that we are experiencing in every other aspect of our lives can also be found within ourselves and what our personal mind, body, and souls need, right now. So, if you’re feeling like you’re “losing” your practice, this is impossible. Your practice is you.

    Redefining Progress

    “Progress not perfection” is a great mantra. It brings into focus the practice of yoga rather than the visual achievements we see such as handstands or that new #yogiseeyogido trend. Sometimes, though, I wonder if the definition we’ve attributed to “progress” is focusing on the “gains” that we are striving towards in yoga. Now don’t get me wrong, I have been working towards my handstand for years and will continue to because it makes it feel strong and challenged and brave. But what if we saw the act of showing up as progress? Even if I never hit a minute handstand (which is quite possible) I am still progressing in my practice by showing up, doing the work, and incorporating the asanas and other limbs into my life. The conscious choice of practicing in order to feel strong and brave is where the magic is.

    Fear-Based Progress

    A little fear that’s popped up a few times during quarantine is that I am going to “lose” all of my progress I’ve made in my yoga journey. ⁣As fears do, this one highlights where I feel unsure or misaligned with where I am and where I want to be. Feelings of shame, embarrassment, frustration, and lots of self-criticisms show up to remind me that the only constant is change. Progress isn’t linear. It evolves and shifts and flexes and expands. Just like a good ol’ flow.⁣ I have been experiencing shame around “losing” my yoga practice. But maybe I’m more worried about the identity that yoga gives me. What I’m really experiencing is my ego not wanting to lose “gains” in my flexibility, inversions, arm balances, etc. I recognize ego is fueling this feeling, but it still comes up.

    Your Body’s Wisdom

    I’ve also been grieving the classroom space. Experiencing the duality of being completely alone in my own flow while being surrounded by others who are experiencing the same is incredibly powerful—an illustration of the connectedness of all of us. In my practice, it is the one place where I never feel I’m supposed to be somewhere or doing something, else. I show up 100% on my mat and just be in my practice. For the most part, no one else exists outside of the four corners of my mat during that 70-minute flow. I am practicing letting the ego go to know that I am having the asana practice that is needed right now. The brilliance of your body is that she knows, inherently, what you need at every moment of every day.

    We’ve learned not to listen, thinking we need to seek external insight and advice for how to make our bodies work better, faster, stronger. But in your unique experience, only your body can tell you what you need. And right now, she’s probably asking you something different than when we’re not in quarantine. This heightened awareness that we are experiencing in every other aspect of our lives can also be found within ourselves and what our personal mind, body, and souls need, right now. So, if you’re feeling like you’re “losing” your practice, this is impossible. Your practice is you.

    By Jordan Page

     

    Jordan Page is a traveling nomad who takes her love of yoga with her everywhere she goes. She also believes you can learn a lot about someone from their Hogwarts House. After completing yoga teacher training in 2017, she and her husband converted a school bus into their tiny home in which they now live and travel in full-time. She has taught in multiple states around the U.S. and in 2019 she completed her professional coach training through iPEC and earned her CPC. Through yoga and coaching, she works to empower and inspire women to own the life of their choosing through conscious, purposeful intention. She is purposefully living, while not taking things too seriously.

    NOTE: This post is part of a collaborative media series organized and curated by Omstars and the Yoga & Body Image Coalition intended as a deep dive into yoga & body image.

  • Your Own Experience

    As a teacher and practitioner of yoga, I try to model that each of us is always learning and teaching those around us.

    There are no experts.

    When we begin to accept that we are all learners on different parts of the same path, it opens us up to be more accepting of others, and ourselves.

    The only thing we can truly be experts in is our own experience. No one, not a single other person, can better understand, relate to, or speak to your experience.

    Personal Development Junkie.

    I like to call myself a personal development junkie. I read all the books, sign up for all the webinars, and constantly seek the knowledge and advice from other “experts” in the mindfulness sphere.

    And I find SO much value in this learning! If you’re not growing, you’re dying.

    Personal development, your yoga practice, or any other journey you take on to grow as a person is just that, a journey. There is no end. You don’t read enough books or watch enough webinars one day, and then realize, “Wow! I am now personally developed!”

    It’s a continual, mindful practice of trying, testing, changing, stretching, and challenging to become more and more of your true, highest self.

    But none of these teachers, speakers, or writers have been in your shoes (or, in yogi terms, on your mat).

    Challenge Your Assumptions.

    Seeking new ideas is only one part of the journey. Another part is making a conscious choice for what actually resonates with and serves you. Your body, mind, background, career, socio-economic status, race, religion, and so many other factors play into what will actually serve you in your experience.

    But again, you are making a CHOICE for what serves you. You might read something in this article that totally resonates. And you might read something else that you 100% disagree with.

    Great! Either way, you’ve learned something new about yourself.

    Allow me, though, to challenge your assumptions.

    Assumptions are what happens when you believe something will work out one way because it has before. What would happen in your life if you stopped assuming? What opportunities could present themselves instead, if you chose to try instead of assume?

    What is something you want, whether related to the yoga limbs or not, that you assume you can’t do, so you never even try? It could be literally anything.

    By challenging your own assumptions, learning new perspectives, and simply trying where you most believe you’re going to fail, you find what works for you.

    Whether you’re practicing with what foods work best for your body, or what yoga style resonates with you, or how to bring more self-love into your every day, this is my best advice:

    Take what works, leave the rest, and deviate as necessary. You are the expert in your own experience.

    By Jordan Page

    Jordan Page is a traveling nomad who takes her love of yoga with her everywhere she goes. She also believes you can learn a lot about someone from their Hogwarts House. After completing yoga teacher training in 2017, she and her husband converted a school bus into their tiny home in which they now live and travel in full-time. She has taught in multiple states around the U.S. and in 2019 she completed her professional coach training through iPEC and earned her CPC. Through yoga and coaching, she works to empower and inspire women to own the life of their choosing through conscious, purposeful intention. She is purposefully living, while not taking things too seriously.

    NOTE: This post is part of a collaborative media series organized and curated by Omstars and the Yoga & Body Image Coalition intended as a deep dive into yoga & body image.