THE LIGHTHEARTED YOGINI
By Tommasina Marlow Lash
“If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it.” — Mary Oliver
The American Heritage dictionary describes lighthearted as “not being burdened by trouble, worry, or care; happy and carefree.” Oh, Alani The Lighthearted, how I have pondered what you might teach us about yoga!
I am fairly certain the first thing you might say is quit taking yourself so serious. So often, we walk into a yoga class with an agenda or carrying insecurities and it keeps us from discovering the lighter side of our practice. We assume finding center is serious business and we move through class so hyper focused we might miss the magic in letting go and finding humor in ourselves.
The lighter side of yoga actually might be just the boost we need to get past the places we are stuck in our practice. Take an arm balance posture for instance. If I have a class of kids, they will try anything. I show them an arm balance and they gleefully just try. If I try to teach the same thing to adults though, I see a much different reaction.
I see the class come to a halt and can almost read on people’s faces and their body language all the stories they are telling themselves in the moment. There are stories about why they can’t physically do the balance, stories about fear of falling or failing and stories of worrying about looking silly etc. Meanwhile the present moment gets lost. And, the only thing that will ever get you into an arm balance is a willingness to just go for it… leaping in with a playful spirit!
So this month on our yoga mats at Reformation, let’s let the spirit of Alani The Lighthearted inspire us! Every time we hold back, maybe instead let’s ask what would Alani do? And, for Heaven’s sake can we laugh at ourselves! I can’t wait to just have fun this month on our mats! Who knows… maybe we might just find ourselves laughing while balancing on our arms!
Tommasina Marlow Lash
Tommasina teaches yoga throughout the local area at several studios. She has completed 800 hours of teacher training and enjoys sharing with others what she has learned along her journey. She offers various workshops too and has an upcoming yoga retreat this summer in Koh Samui, Thailand. Follow her on Instagram @tommasina_yogini to keep up with all the fun!