A Clumsy Cow at the Yoga Barn
... and now I'm comparing myself to farm animals.
During my stay in Bali, more specifically Ubud, I made a point to visit the famed Yoga Barn, a place pinned by yogis from all over the world. It’s a beautiful facility and the instructors are amazing. It is, for the most part, quiet and serene, and it boasts with positive energy. Not being a proper yogi myself, I decided on the introduction class- thinking it would probably be pretty lame and basic- but knew I didn’t have the skill to keep up in any of the other multiple classes available.
I couldn’t have been anymore wrong. The class I took at the Yoga Barn was one of the best investments of my time and money. The instructor, Estee, a native Indonesian among the multiple international instructors there, gently taught the fundamentals of yoga and balance. From the moment the class started, I was entranced by her beautiful soul and excitement for the yoga beginners.
Now, for those reading- and I know they are out there- who completely denounce the idea of Yoga the moment it is mentioned, let me further explain to you my experience. Estee started the class by introducing the idea of Yin and Yang. She introduced the idea of balance in the practice, with both Yin- a slower paced practice- and yang- the more intense, active style. Having done my fair share of YOGA X in the past with Beachbody’s P90X system, I was very aware of the sweat drenched body and butt kicking that Yoga can give.
Yin introduced me to a completely different experience in the yoga studio, and with a mix of Yin and Yang, my body pushed itself at a steady pace and further than it has in quiet some time. We gave our bodies time to rest, time to breathe, and time to relax. We stretched ourselves out and allowed the body to internally align and create a base for itself.
Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a clumsy person by nature- but I do have problems with balance and equaling out my bodies equilibrium at times. I, therefore, don’t go climbing tall ladders and sitting on ledges of high buildings for the fun of it. There were times when balance was crucial in the exercises that we were doing as a class, and there were times when I didn’t do exactly like the instructor, because of that. However, the great part is, that was completely fine.
Estee made sure to remind the class that finding YOUR balance is about exactly that- YOU. How you choose to meditate, stretch, relax, and energize is completely and 100% unique to you. She stressed that fact multiple times, and reminded us to not compare ourselves to her, or others in the class. That yoga is a way to relax, recharge, balance, and meditate- and our minds should not be on others or not even on great technique. It should be about doing what feels right for YOU.
I must say, one of my favorite parts of the class was the end, where we all laid out on the floor and took time to breath and cool down. It felt great after the routine of the class. The whole experience, however, felt incredible… and I walked away from it with a clear mind, a balanced energy, and a quiet center.
I also walked away from it with a few thoughts...
1. A lot of your bodies’ stress is released when you are true to you. We, as a whole, find so many ways to compare ourselves to one another and to “put on” for one another, that we give ourselves this anxiety-driven lifestyle where we can’t relax due to unnecessary stress that we gather ourselves. (I’m speaking to myself here, 100%)
2. Finding a balance is crucial. In every sphere of life. It stops you from being overworked, overstressed, and overstimulated. It also keeps you from being unproductive, unhealthy, and unconnected. Balance, like the Yin and the Yang, allows your mind, body, and spirit to stretch and to grow at a pace that is unique to you.
3. “There is no perfection in Yoga, it’s about finding what works for you. In the end, isn’t that really what Yoga [and life] is all about?” In summary, that’s what Estee kept reminding the class of. That finding what is comfortable and yet engaging and proactive, is how we move through life. Why do we thrive for perfection and kick ourselves constantly, when perfection is non-attainable?
4. Open your mind to new ideas. Don’t shut down on the basis of preconceived thoughts. Don’t ever think you know it all, or that what you do is always right. Continue on your journey of knowledge and growth, all the days of your life. Be willing to give things a try, and be willing to walk away from those experiences with your own truths and knowledge.