I remember when I started yoga, I was still living from my perfectionist, do gooder, all or nothing protective parts. I wasn't even aware of these parts (which I have to say, was quite nice at the time for as most of us know on this journey, ignorance in the short term is bliss).
My first yoga class was at 18 and through my 20's I would practice off and on. Gentle, hatha, ashtanga, yin, flow. I'd take two classes in a row. Feel blissed out afterwards, then check out at home..because that was what I did.
I'd take a yin class, love the way my muscles felt, but the chatter in my brain was so loud and critical and judgmental I eventually stopped going because I couldn't stand the teacher any more.
At the time, I felt like he chatted so much, I couldn't find stillness, I felt overstimulated. I didn't realize at the time his chattiness was competing with my own minds commentary.
So where does a forward fold come in? I have to smile when I think about how much I get out of ONE POSE now.
My previous self would have called me lazy, weak, unmotivated. Luckily, I don't listen to that voice nearly as much anymore. Doing ONE POSE is so completely nourishing, such a great way to listen to the conversation within our bodies between the muscles, emotions, and thoughts. And does it help release!
If you can do an entire sun salutation and stay connected and release, that is wonderful. Keep doing that which feels good. But many of us are on a different stage of the process and we have to start slow to stay connected.
Over time, the nerve connections will start to gel and the mind body will be more integrated and you can "do more" (to satisfy that achieving brain:).
That is if you want to. No presh. But remember, less is more as my Restorative Yoga Teacher always would repeat. There is so much MORE in this moment. So savor it and listen to it for all it's worth.
Feel into the pose completely.
Feel every breath, texture, fiber, and sway of energy and let yourself be immersed in it. This is how we heal. Through releasing as we are connected to the compassionate witness within. This is the true surrender.
Which is why I chose Forward Fold. What's more surrendering than a pose that can be done almost anywhere, by almost anyone, at any given time. What's more releasing than letting whatever you don't want anymore roll off your back, giving it up and sending it off into the earth?
To Forward Fold this Way or To Forward Fold that Way- That is the Only Question :)
Some places to practice!
In a Chair:
At a Desk
Sitting on the floor or on a bolster or blanket