Unlocking Your Intuitive Yoga Practice
March 29, 2019
Many of us are seeking to move in a way that feels intuitive and free. Freedom and trust in our yoga practice can extend to other areas of my life, allowing us to feel equally in control as well as radically except all that we are NOT in control of. Honoring our bodies is one of the greatest gifts that we can offer ourselves. But I’m often asked HOW? How do you practice this way? The intuitive yoga practice ability to listen to our bodies, can be difficult to tap into for a beginner. Retreats are a powerful space to explore this practice. Some suggestions to get you started and begin to let your intuition be your guide …
Check in with yourself first, and ask yourself what you NEED.
My favorite way to ask students to check in with themselves is to relate their feelings to the four elements. For example if they’re feeling an over abundance of earth energy, leaving them stagnant or stuck, I’ll suggest a very fluid, creative, dance inspired type of movement or yoga sequence.
Alternatively if they are feeling very sensitive, or overwhelmed with emotions from water element, I might ask them to re-claim their personal power with a fire driven practice. I’d offer strength and core focused motions to improve their confidence.
If someone is feeling very overwhelmed or their thoughts are racing due to the air element being in over abundance, a slow, grounded, restorative practice will counterbalance that with earth energy.
Lastly if the shadow side or fire element is at play (anger, unhealthy ego, frustration) it could be time to get grounded and grateful, and explore fluid softening poses and vulnerable heart opening back bends.
Practice in an environment that feels safe and non-judgemental.
For many, this could be in your home during a home practice. There is something uniquely special about flowing on your mat to only the pace of your breath. Start your intuitive yoga practice there but don’t be afraid of embarrassed to do so in a studio setting.
If you want to feel more freedom in your studio, begin by practicing with a teacher you trust and feel confident around.
Before class you can always touch base with the teacher, letting them know you are working on your intuitive yoga practice, and even asking for suggestions from them as well. This open dialogue eases anxiety around looking silly or offending a teacher when you stray from the instruction.
Be mindful of your fellow yogis practice. Position yourself in an area of the room that is less distracting should you choose your own journey during the sequence.
Remember that whether in child’s pose or handstand, everyone in the room is doing yoga “correctly”, as there is truly no such thing.
Close your eyes, trust yourself, do what you ENJOY!
Each time you are on your mat is a new expression of your practice and therefore yourself. Let each practice be a fresh start and continuously try new things. I connect to myself and my body when I close my eyes, but some may feel less safe or stable in doing so.
Connecting to your body and breath will become easier when you’re doing movements you enjoy. Do the poses you love to return to, hold them as long as you wish or move on from them before you’re “supposed” to.
Let joy lead. Intuition will follow a joyful heart.
For many of us, our days are structured from the moment we wake up. Allow the time on your mat and your intuitive yoga practice to be sacred and rooted in trust.
On retreat, we try on a flow of the day that makes time for exploration on our mat, rest during the day, beautiful meals with community and space for creative cultivation. Join us there.