Peace on the Mat

Peace on the Mat

 

 

If you ask 10 yogis what makes a yoga class “good”, you will probably get 10 different answers: the teacher, the music, the studio, the style, the energy in the room, etc. While all of these external factors can contribute to my experience, I judge a yoga class based on internal factors. Did something shift for me during class? Do I feel infinitely better now than I did at the beginning of class? Did I have a deep release, and maybe (in really great classes) even cried? Do all of my burdens seem lighter as I walk out of the studio?

 

These experiences happen when I let myself surrender. When I stop paying attention to what the person in front of me is doing. When I become fully present within myself. When my own breath leads my own movements. When I stop judging.

 

I can reach this place in a Yin class when I am holding poses for so long that all of the connective tissue that is rigidly holding me in place loosens its grip, or in a hot, sweaty Vinyasa flow class that wrings me out from the deepest trenches of my core.

 

It is easier for me to reach this place in a class when I am familiar with a teacher, when I can sense what pose is coming next, not because I have done the sequence before, but because we have built up a connection. It is easier when the music is either something that I know and love, or something that remains quiet background noise. It is easier when I am so comfortable in the studio that I don’t pay attention to the color of the room or what is on the altar or what I can see from the windows.

 

While all of these external factors contribute to my experience, it truly is my experience, and I am the one who ultimately determines how I will walk out of a yoga class.

 

During a yoga retreat with Rolf Gates a couple of years ago, he continually used the phrase “move from thinking to feeling.” This is what I am talking about.  Getting out of my head, calming my monkey mind and stopping the incessant chatter and conversations that I have with me, myself and I. Turning inward and letting go of everything else in the world.

 

For me, the perfect yoga class is when I can find enough peace within my head and my heart that I can just be me.

The Good Tiger
sarah@goodtigeryoga.com

We are a group of dedicated yogis, mommys, daddys, climbers, bikers, hikers, paddlers, and all around nature worshippers who believe that our practice is a lifelong connection enhancing every aspect of our existence, bringing breath and freedom to all we do. With this inspiration for yoga and all its gifts we created Good Tiger Yoga so that we may share our practice and journey with you.