Developing a spirit of curiosity through yoga

As part of my program of personal wellness I have been taking a yoga class here at the clinic for the past year.  It fits with my schedule and because it is a morning class helps positively to determine my mood for the rest of the day.

I have always bemoaned my lack of flexibility, especially in my hamstrings and hips.  It has seemed that even if I were to hold a stretch for a whole day, nothing substantial would change.  This is perhaps one reason why I had never taken to yoga previously and had dismissed myself as a hopeless case.

What I have noticed through perseverance and the brilliant motivational teaching of Miriam, our Friday morning yoga teacher, that I am gradually making progress.  Gone is my tendency to compare myself with others who it has seemed are much more flexible.  

If a position is uncomfortable, I notice that I tend to hold my breath as if, in so doing, the problem will dissipate.  I notice that when something is uncomfortable, either physically or emotionally, one has a tendency to hold the breath.  That is not useful.  I need to bring fresh oxygen to the area - to breathe in and, on the out-breath, to release the tension and to find that place of new suppleness.  

Miriam talks about developing a spirit of curiosity.  That place of curiosity is a place of playfulness and that should never end, especially with the approach of middle age.  Remain young in body, mind and spirit.  Well, I am curious.  When I returned to school to study shiatsu therapy back in 1992, I remember that it was like learning to play again.  I had found my passion and my source of delight, and it felt really good.   

This has all been a part of exploring who I am and where I am going.  It is also an important part of taking care of myself that will enable me to meet the challenges ahead with greater ease.