Props and Support

Yoga on the Summer Solstice (Yang Style)
Last night's yoga class with Scotty was a rare treat:  yin yoga.  I like my bhangra yang (intense and fiery) and my yoga yin (smooth and contemplative).  Even though I'm a regular Yoga Diner devotee, a whole class of yin is unusual.  The solstice must have been smiling on us.

One of my favorite aspects of Iyengar yoga is its use of props.  No advanced yoginis need apply- we're all about a purple block here, a strap there, bolsters and piles of blankets.  We're not afraid to admit that we can't quite reach that foot and we can't quite put that hand on the floor.  We're prop heavy and prop happy.  And our yoga is better for it.

Last night we had a small class, so we had extra props to play with.  I've never done child's pose supported by two bolsters (usually I'm pretty happy to flop on the floor after intending, and often failing, to hold down dog for a respectable length of time).  The pose felt a bit strange, being supported that much and at that height.  But after some mental adjustment it wasn't bad, just different.

Eddy Does Yin

A little extra support is never a bad thing- a block can help you bring triangle pose into its proper form.  And from time to time extra solid support can be incredibly instructive.  It's easy to fly through life quickly without spending much time on the ground, let alone recognizing what is supporting your feet, hips, shoulders, and head.  What are the blocks that help you get the extension you want?  The straps that give you just enough, but not too much, traction?  The blankets that help you support a tired back and an overly strained mind?

Walking down the street today, I noticed that people passing me appear to be individuals, independently moving in directions that seem unrelated to anything other than their own intentions.  But each of those individuals are supported by a range of people and propped up by ideas that define them, energize them, and direct them in the world.  If we could actually see the friends surrounding each person, the family that is the connection between their feet and the earth, and the places and things that bring meaning into the way they move in the world... well, it might get so interesting that I'd have trouble getting more than a couple of blocks!  But, seriously, I think it would be a beautiful way for us to see people and their true interconnections.