One day out of the year we dedicate to giving thanks for our family, friends, food on the table and numerous other things that grace our life. I recently took up yoga again after a five-year hiatus. In my practice, Hot Yoga, we give thanks at the end of each class to each other and ourselves. As individuals we don’t always acknowledge our own achievements and thank ourselves enough. I’ve benefitted physically from yoga, but more importantly spiritually and mentally.
At the start of class I set an intention. My intention is usually a mental or emotional one, but it can be anything. It is what my thoughts will come back to when doing a pose. The mind tends to wander, the intention is to help me focus. Child’s pose and a few basic stretches warm the body as the room heats up to an uncomfortable 100 degrees. We do poses to detoxify the body and increase circulation. My legs and arms shake as sweat pores off my body. Warrior pose, tree pose and lots of down dogs, up dogs and chaturangas. Sweat is a constant dribble from my forehead to my yoga towel. Focus. Intention. I’m reminded by my teacher to breath. Nice concept.
Finally the floor poses arrive as I lay down and stretch out my soaked sore body. The stretches go deep, my muscles thank me. We try a few inversions and after 90 minutes end with shavashana, the resting pose.
Every instructor is different, every class unique. One of my yogi master’s likes to end the class in silence.
“No thoughts,” he whispers. “Silence is natural. Listen to the silence in nature.”
His teachings get my thoughts going. No thoughts, I reminded myself. It’s hard for me to not have any thoughts. Try it.
I decided to concentrate on the space between my eyes, the third eye. I had thoughtlessness for a brief moment.
We thank each other for the wonderful energy in the room and mutter Namaste as we bow our heads.