the llama blog
practicing yoga off the mat.
“If you are softer than before they came. You have been loved.” ~ Nayyirah Waheed
Yoga teacher, Elena Brower, was one of my first teachers that presented this idea of softening a yoga pose to receive its fullest potential. This concept conflicted with what I originally thought of softening. If I was soft in a pose, my job or simply in life, I was weak. I wasn’t trying hard enough.
Softening doesn’t mean you’re weak. I realized it actually takes courage and strength to relax, and open the mind, body and breath. Softening connects you to me and me to you. Softening tears down the walls and makes us all one.
Give it a try:
From standing, begin to notice your breath. Breathe into areas that are tense and tight. Use your breath to soften and caress these areas. Continue to breathe evenly.
Step your left foot back and open our hips into Warrior 2. Set your strong foundation through the legs, up the torso and out the arms. Allow the breath to soften these parts. Notice where you’re holding in the pose. Find a little movement in the body by either backing off or flowing in and out of the pose. Use the breath and the movement to loosen and soften this Warrior. Step forward, and repeat on the left side.
Now let’s try a seated pose like Cobbler Pose. Bring the soles of the feet together and all your knees to open to the sides. Take a deep breath in, and soften the inner hips as you bow. The more you relax your grip, the deeper the pose will feel. The more you stop resisting, the more you can open your heart.
And finally, lie down on your mat into Corpse Pose. Surrender to your breath. Feel your body melt as if it were snuggled in a warm down blanket. Melt into the earth. Soften the breath. Soften the mind. Soften the body.
Awaken to the openness and possibilities you have when you become soft.