Three Questions: Rachael Moore
RACHAEL: Although I have always been drawn to more of a 'flow style yoga practice' I opted for a more general yoga teaching training when I took my first 200hr teacher training. I felt I wanted to have a good grounding and understanding of 'yoga' and how to teach safely and effectively whilst leaving room for my personal growth and exploration . Once I had a few years of teaching experience and I had had the chance to see what style of teaching I was drawn to and what felt 'authentic' to me in my teaching and practice, I took the decision to embark on a second teacher training specifically in the art of Vinyasa flow yoga with Claire Missingham. This second tt offered me the opportunity to explore all the layers that go toward making a rounded, accessible vinyasa class. As both a student and teacher of yoga , I feel I am constantly evolving and making subtle changes to how I interpret certain aspects of this practice. Both tt courses have enabled me to do this and also provided me with sound theoretical knowledge so as I can continue to grow as both a student and teacher of Yoga.
Why does yoga always make me so emotional? Sometimes I feel myself on the verge of tears in savasana and I have no idea why! Is this normal?
RACHAEL: Bless you! Yes it is normal and If we are honest I think we have all been there at some point in our practice. A regular practice will help to align not only the physical body but also our subtle anatomy. Our yoga practice teaches us about the intwined relationship between our state of mind, our breath and our bodies so it stands to reason that our passed experiences and our current emotional state is imprinted in our bodies which will affect the balance of our our energy and the harmony of our whole being. Energy is constantly moving around the body but through habitual holding patterns in the body, or past injury/trauma (emotional or physical) ,this energy can get blocked in certain places in the body. In our yoga practice, we stretch, strengthen, twist and fold our bodies, our bones, muscle , organs and skin and in doing so help release this blocked/stagnant energy both physically, energetically and also emotionally It is partly for this reason that you may notice a release of emotional energy seemingly unrelated to the specific moment at hand. Sarah Powers a well respected Yin yoga teacher, says in relation to this that "Yoga is a great way of moving these patterns through you... I suggest neither blocking nor seeking to mentally figure out these feelings as they emerge during your practice. Simply stay with the feeling-tone itself and notice the way it affects your experience in your body……There is nothing wrong with emotional release during our yoga poses, this is healing."
Q5) Do you think it's important to be able to do advanced poses? Should we always try to work towards these?
RACHAEL: Hmm…. Do I think advanced poses make you an advanced student of yoga? An emphatic 'no'! Do I think it is important to be working towards something and enjoy experiencing the journey as you travel toward the destination? An emphatic 'Yes'. It is good to challenge yourself, to take yourself out of your comfort zone , to work towards a different place from where you started, but at the same time, it should be done with a clear intention and approached in a mindful way. Yes some of the advanced poses will offer you increased strength and focus but only if your ready for them, otherwise there will be no sukha (ease) in the body, just Dukha (heaviness and dis-ease). There are many, many 'advanced' poses that I continue to practice and work towards. Some of these I may one day be able to achieve, others I will not. As Desikachar states 'we start where we are and with what we have, and whatever happens, happens". Enjoy the challenge of some of the more advanced poses but don't make it the goal of your practice. There is so much joy in discovering all the subtleties of this practice that to get hung up over never being able to perform an unsupported handstand (for example) would be such a shame!
Rachael Moore teaches Yoga Flow and Pregnancy Yoga at Camyoga. She is also a member of our esteemed teacher training faculty. Click here to view her class schedule.