Ever feel like your yoga routine has become a little too predictable? Working with a new teacher, in a new space, or with a new group can really help. I just returned from the Sukhava Bodhe Yoga & Music Festival in Illinois, where I tried many things that are not in my daily practice. I left feeling strong, relaxed, and inspired. Here are a few of my favorite finds from my trip.
- Thai Massage - Although this wasn't my first Thai Massage Workshop, it was the very best way to start our day. My friend, Katie and I learned how to incorporate massage, posture assists, and sitting (yes, sitting on people) as a way to reduce muscular tension. Our concentration was upper back, but the leg sitting was fantastic. Bonus for my husband and a few lucky coworkers, I need to practice if I'm going to maintain these new skills.
- Acro Yoga - This was done in groups of 3, we rotated through being the flyer, the base, and the spotter. We met a new friend from the Northwest, and quickly found out that we needed to trust each other and be there for one another. We rotated through 3 poses, and we all really enjoyed the experience. If you're looking for a yoga experience that includes strength, fun, and relationships, this is a great practice to try.
- SUP Yoga - Although I've done some paddling on my own and have an Ocean Yoga Board for indoor use, this was my first Standup Paddleboard Yoga Class. My entire experience was without a doubt challenged by the man that was next to me. It takes a whole new level of concentration to balance on an unstable surface knowing that someone 1 foot from you is about to fall into the water (again and again), and you're attached to a rope & can't escape him. On a positive note, the experience made me keenly aware of the importance of my focal point (drishti), and that is something I'll be teaching in classes this week.
- Hip Flow - Since I've been teaching and taking a lot of alignment oriented Hatha classes with long holds, this was very different for me. At this point in the day, we were on class number 5, and this class was a great way to end the day.
- Restorative Yoga - OK, this one wasn't at the festival, but as someone who had avoided restorative yoga, this has become a new recent addition to my practice. It's a great way to start a weekend, reduce stress, and relieve tension. Why not shake things up by slowing down?
- Yoga Rope Wall - This amazing tool can help you find core strength, new ways to access the same poses, practice alignment, and decompress the spine (with supported inversions). Check out my class schedule to try it out.
While I don't suggest that you abandon your favorite class, studio, or teacher, I do suggest shaking up your routine every now and then. Maybe you're lucky enough to hit a festival like I did. If not, I'd encourage you to put something new into your yoga practice on a regular basis.
Namaste - Beth