I came across this little guy in my garden today and stood to watch him for a few moments. He flew from one flower to the next and back again, as if he couldn't make up his mind, a little like a kid in a sweet shop! The choice seemed too much almost for him and he was definitely looking tipsy as he flew away - I should think he went straight home to sleep it off! The sound of all the bees buzzing in their happy state was quite mesmeric and drew me in, making me feel almost drunk too.....
This week our theme was 'Variety is the Spice of Life'. The point of variety is that we get the chance to experience something different. From this experience comes the ability to judge and decide.
Sound was the choice for the early morning class on Friday as we finished our 2nd week of June's Pop Up. It involved my first, best (and possibly only!) attempt at sharing music through Zoom. It's well known that I am not technically gifted.... Most of the Mont Blanc Yogis, all always game for anything, were very generous in their feedback, some even complimenting my Playlist! I didn't go the traditional route of bells and chants, but was rather subjective in my choice of favourite modern ( ?!) artists and songs: Lou Reed, Bread, The Beatles, James Taylor and John Lennon all joined us on the mat with their titles 'Perfect day', 'If', 'Here comes the Sun', 'You've got a Friend' and 'Imagine'.
It started a little loudly, felt slightly 'stuttery' throughout and I finished feeling discontented with the practice from the teaching perspective. Not how I hoped it would go to be honest! There were at least one or two brave souls, who practiced all the class, hating every minute it seems! Now though, we are all able to make an informed decision about it. How many people today take that time to understand and take part in something before dismissing it? Variety isn't just about alleviating our boredom, it's about learning about ourselves through our reactions. We're then able to make better judgements about other things. If that little bee had just drunk all the pollen from that one beautiful red Poppy, think of what he might have missed. Sure, he came back to it 3 times....or it may have been his brother?....but at least he then knew he preferred it to the taste of the yellow daisy.
I deliberately added hip opening poses like Pigeon to the class to help the Yogis release and open emotionally. We hold an enormous amount of our tension and stress in our hips! Heart Opening Backbends are our mood lifters in Yoga, so the hope was that as they listened to the gentle beats of the music and particularly connected to the words, that these would begin to make everyone feel positive and calmed On the whole it worked that way. Reports back of toe tapping did make me chuckle, but still was a sign that the desired goal of happiness and contentment was achieved! For me it proves our Asanas (poses) always work their magic, even with the disturbance of my dodgy soundtrack....
In my earlier Blog 'the Best of Intentions', with my lovely Bagpipe playing brother, I already touched on Sound playing an important part in Yoga. Everyone, Yogi or not, can relate to this power of sound. Putting Friday's class to the side, Sound can interrupt and alter moods. Depending on our choice of music this is usually in a positive, uplifting way. Think of those times where you have stood in a packed concert or a crowded sports stadium. The electric charged energy that builds around you there is palpable as everyone sings, chants or shouts. Music and sound create an incredible emotive force that fosters a great sense of togetherness. We needn't be in a busy place though to experience this power in the words and harmonies. Imagine sitting in a high ceilinged cathedral type building listening to a solitary chorister. Even closer to home, think of how listening to music through your pods alone in your own space affects you or how automatically you start singing along to certain songs on the radio. Finding yourself in space outside away from man made noises, where you can immerse in listening to the bees and nature's orchestra is another example.
On the subject of brothers, two of our other classes this week were titled 'Little Brothers' and 'Big Brothers'. In one we practiced less challenging modifications of bigger poses. In the other we tried the Big Brothers to challenge us. It helped us to see the same principle from two different angles. The benefits were the same in many ways, though the effort involved was different. Because the Big Brothers called for more dynamic physical involvement, the energy level was much greater. These activating poses call for strength, which we may or may not feel we have at certain times in class. The option is to modify what we do. As ever, we use Yoga to learn about not just who we are, but how we are and make informed decisions from this connection. Everyone can again relate to this lesson. Some days are full of positivity and high energy, some not so much. It's all about recognising this, looking for the choices available and deciding what is best for you.
Variety can be used to spice up our lives, something we all need to do now and again. Life by definition should never be stagnant . We learn and grow this way and the experiences help us to understand both ourselves and the world better. So remember, there are always options in life - it's still your choice though how spicy you make it!
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