Author: Teresa Mupas
Photos by: Leah Slagenwhite and Anna Lorraine Cueva
As an American expat who moves across borders every few years, I often don’t have the luxury of a home studio. I rely heavily on online programs and YouTube instructors to guide me through my practice as I move apartments and travel.
It took many years of practice for me to begin to create flows for myself. It took years to learn which asana my body needed when. But there comes times when I want to be completely disconnected from the screen, from technology, from the fast-paced distractions of today’s modern world.
Sometimes, I just want to disconnect from language itself. I want to quiet all the thoughts and words and ideas firing on all cylinders within the network of my mind. And that means I need to keep the computer off and cut off YouTube.
That means, I need to come to the mat in silence. Here’s why, every once in a while, we all need to:
The silence is healing.
Yoga is moving meditation. As you move silently through asana without an instructor or music, the mind begins to clear and focuses on what you need, on what you’ve come to the mat to do. We begin to trust your body, your practice.
In the silence, you are not distracted by the words an instructor uses, keeping with the rhythm of the music. You are alone with your body, its aches, its needs, the places where its open. Without an instructor cuing you, you need to employ all those asana that you and your body have already learned. You can better apply that asana to what your body is asking for. If your hips feel tight, for example, you can cater your flow toward the hips, moving your way lovingly and full of trust through Pigeon and Frog and Happy Baby.
It connects you to spirit.
In the silence, listening only to your body, there comes a point where everything is so hushed (especially right before dawn), that you feel the unclogging that yoga brings. When it’s quiet, the universe can better communicate its free-flowing energy to you, to your body, to your spirit. And this, that open connection to spirit, is what yoga is all about. Enjoy.