So far this holiday season, since November I would say, I had been on the road to grading and teaching 81 students in their final projects and working on my Yama Yoga Store. This means my Yoga practice is on its way down, drinking coffee was on its way up, and I was feeling a little tapped. I decided to remedy that by doing Yoga certain times of the day when I could steal away and when I could do asana quickly- perhaps a few sun salutations would be enough to plug back into my body and reconnect me to the Yoga Verse. This is also a time where no matter what, I blow up like a blowfish. Weight gain is imminent for me in time of stress, and this time, I told myself, I won’t let those pesky stress hormones do this to me. Yoga Yoga Yoga to the rescue.
So instead of going for an organized routine or sun salutations, I found myself doing Improvisational Yoga, flowing with the right yoga postures by intuition and play. This was and is a very rewarding way to begin my day with yoga as it plays with my most creative self. Yoga is a practice that focuses on the internal self which includes the navigation of perception, places emphasis on phases of time, and focuses energy. Asana is the external expression of those things in movement form. Spontaneity and Improvisational Yoga gives way to a freedom of physical expression seldom felt in carved out yoga routines.
In the morning, at home, I do set a timer for 10 minutes and move from one asana to the next letting my body decide what pose is best and then holding those poses for an intuitive length of time. I have incorporated some of everything and a little dance in between. I have also tried this Yoga Style while moving casually with music and have also done some Improvisational Yoga outside. With the right light yoga gear to take to the University or to the woods, I’m set…it’s just me and the mat and my most creative, focused self.
Sometimes routines can get cumbersome and take the fun out of the good work of Yoga. I was told by a close friend once that Yoga made her angry. (LOL) Well, following a teacher for some of us is unnerving and a fixed routine in a studio can become less energizing and bring on more stress.
There are wonderful studios, teachers, and YouTube videos out there along with Gaia as a full channel for any routine and teacher you may want in your living room. While I always suggest a good teacher and even a one on one with a Yoga teacher before the onset of joining any class, Improvisational Yoga may be just what you need to clear the way and open up to new-found freedom in hard times.
My ending thoughts are that Yoga should not always play out like staged choreography but can be even more fruitful using the freedom of expression found in the play of improvisation.