Pajamasana™

Yoga for a better bedtime

Embracing the unknown

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Continuing my journey through Ramayana, last week I taught the theme of the unknown. I was inspired by Rama’s insistence that he, Sita and Lakshmana leave Dandaka forest to venture further into the woods, where nobody from Ayodhya would be able to find him. These parts are too familiar, he mused. We need stranger lands.

I’ve been in classes where my teacher, Noah Mazé, has taught this theme, so it was both daunting and serendipitous for me to take it on my own. Over the last several weeks, I’ve been teaching students in my class the five principles of Anusara alignment; we had done all five, plus an add-on class on balanced action, which I feel is a great way to put the five principles into perspective.

The class on the unknown followed the five principles and balanced action. In retrospect, I think I must have instinctively been reacting to the satisfaction that many regulars were feeling at having grasped — and incorporated into their practices — such difficult concepts. My life has taught me that satisfaction is often followed by a reality check. If you’re not prepared to venture back out into the wild, then the wild will find you (usually lounging on your couch).

That’s not to say one shouldn’t pause to savor what he’s learned, accomplished. In my class, we’ve been working on handstand for weeks. I’ve seen people who thought they were too old, scared or stiff to ever turn upside down on their hands clap with elation after their first attempted adho mukha vrksasana. I encourage them to to feel that power; recognize that it is in them. Then try it again.

Like Rama, we have to be aware enough of ourselves and our surroundings, to see clearly when we should stop to reap the bounty and when it’s time to move on. And when the time for moving on comes, go. Step over your fear, your reluctance, your worry, and embrace the unknown.

Author: Heidi Kyser

I am a freelance writer and part-time yoga instructor in Las Vegas. I started my yoga practice in 2000, at City Yoga Los Angeles. In early 2004, I moved to Las Vegas and began practicing at Sherry Goldstein's Yoga Sanctuary. In 2006, following some big changes in my life, I went through a teacher training and started teaching at Yoga Sanctuary. I knew after my first class that I wanted to keep teaching yoga for as long as I could. In 2007, I completed a 200-hour Anusara teacher training with Noah Mazé and City Yoga founder Anthony Benenati. As part of that training, I received Yoga Alliance RYT 200 certification. From 2008 to 2011, I also was an Anusara Inspired™ instructor. While continuing my career in journalism, I've simultaneously nurtured my skills as a yoga instructor, in order to better communicate with and help my students. The trainings and workshops I've taken have focused increasingly on the therapeutic benefits of the practice. Thanks for visiting. If you like my posts, please subscribe and comment. I hope that you will read and contribute often.

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