The Balance of Push and Pull
This weekend, I attended Matthew Sweeney’s weekend workshop. The first night’s class was the introduction to Moon Sequence Practice. Moon Practice was created by Matthew to give balance to a person’s daily Ashtanga practice. Matthew’s Moon Practice was interesting and informative. Plus, it was nice to have such a gentle and restorative practice from an advanced Ashtanga teacher.
Ashtanga and Power Yoga tend to attract people who seek a physical challenge and continuous improvement.
I am one of those people!
I love continuous learning and I love that I become harder, better, faster, and stronger in my practice! Cue Daft Punk :D
OK, maybe not harder and faster, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to use Daft Punk in a blog post.
Each asana in the sequences are challenging and interesting enough for all of us to keep wanting more, but we sometimes lose track the importance of restoration.
Our hard ward needs to be offset and balanced with restoration, so that we fully appreciate the present moment.
Matthew’s Moon Sequence Practice is a great counterpart to your daily Ashtanga practice.
Matthew explained the thought behind the Moon Flow to us, and walked us through almost two hours of the immensely restorative flow.
In the Moon Sequence, Matthew told us to “hold back a bit, fully experience the pose but pull back just a bit.” Matthew’s reasoning to hold back is that by staying at around a 90% effort level we can experience the pose, but have a mental challenge of maintaining our 90% effort level.
Some people may feel frustrated and agitated, or maybe checkout mentally, as they do not engage 100% to the flow.
But that is kind of the point.
Staying at a 90-95% effort level can be mentally challenging and can bring us back to a nice balance.
Balance the mind and body.
And I agree with Matthew that having a balance is so important. Yogis who practice advanced asanas need to be careful with building an ego as they progress. Always moving forward and wanting more advanced poses is fun and exciting, but you don’t always realize how much stress you have placed on your body and mind (the whole week prior, and during practice).
Matthew also said that a restorative practice might let you feel exhausted. You peeled those layers that were covering the stress underneath them. You enjoy the natural breaths, natural being of your body in the restorative flow.
I really loved Matthew’s Moon Sequence Practice. I had never enjoyed restorative yoga before because I would always become frustrated with it not being “intense” enough.
I felt nice openness in my hips, back, belly and chest after the Moon Flow. I found myself enjoying a long meditation, which is difficult for me to achieve.
I totally found this new side of me this weekend. Wow, I actually enjoyed restorative yoga!
I made my own version of restorative flow. If you get a chance, please try , and let me know what you think!