These days the only in-person group yoga classes I am teaching happen outside.
And I absolutely love it.
One of the things I love is how it has made me so much more aware of seasonal changes, weather shifts, and how each day truly is unique from any other.
Generally, when we think about the year, we do so in terms of 4 seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. But something I am keenly aware of right now is the huge number of little micro-seasons between all of them.
I love thinking of things in terms of micro-seasons because somehow it seems truer, less reductive, and more dynamic than fitting all those shifts into four neat time frames. So much happens in the transitions between seasons, and if we don’t pay attention, we miss them all together.
Often, even within a single hour-long class, there are starkly obvious micro-shifts between how brightly the sun is shining, how cool or warm it is, and how breezy or still the air may be. Sometimes those shifts are not so obvious, but we can still feel them if we pay close enough attention.
One of my personal favorite micro-seasons happens in my backyard every year about halfway through spring. I like to call it “second snow”
Second snow is when the cherry blossoms have peaked and slowly start to wilt and eventually fall from the trees all together. The wind generally speeds this up, and when the blossoms start to swirl and fall in earnest, it is like soft pink snow flurries falling from the sky.
It is absolutely beautiful.
For a brief period, the petals cover the ground so that you can’t even see the grass below. They are soft underfoot, and it feels like you are walking on rose petals.
But it is such a fleeting, transitional period that you can miss it entirely if you don’t pay attention.
And paying attention does not always happen easily.
One of the things I love most about yoga is that it asks you to pay attention to all of it. It asks you to look at your practice (and your life) not just in terms of discrete parts, but how all those parts relate, shift, and change over time.
In physical terms, this means that a yoga sequence is not just about the poses themselves but about the transitions between them (which themselves are made up of even smaller micro-transitions).
And the point is to experience all of it; to see the big picture as well as the details.
Stated differently, yoga asks us to hone our vision at the same time it asks us to widen it, which is something we need to do in practically every area of our lives. Yoga just gives us a nice little container in which to practice building that skill.
So the next time you practice yoga, I challenge you to pay attention to all the in-between parts, the micro-shifts, the parts we often skip over or barely see at all.
Because all of it is important. All of it is you. All of it is yoga.
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“What I discovered was a really comprehensive plan, chock full of tools to help get there. There was a daily yoga sequence that was so gentle anyone could do it, which I truly learned to appreciate. As a teacher, Lauren’s cues throughout were on point for me. She has an overarching peacefulness about her that just feels very honest and genuine. The program is aptly called a “challenge” because there is (at least for me) a real challenge in showing up for yourself consistently for 21 days, even for 20 minutes a day. Today I’m not only calmer, but also feeling stronger and more in-tune with myself. Great experience, totally worth it.”–Phuong S.