October 09, 2008

Blindfold Yoga

Tuesday morning, the Nykkster started having us close our eyes during yinyasa practice. Being somewhat of a mischievous goofball, with an everpresent sweat soaking bandanna around my forehead, I slid said bandanna over my eyes, and did much of the practice blindfolded. Of course, at least some percentage of my bandanna antics was intended to amuse Nykki, which they did - she laughed out loud and said "I love you, Jude" when she spotted me.

It was a wonderful experience, one I hope to continue to explore. Simply shutting my eyes removed the temptation to watch others, to compare and judge, to put myself in autopilot and let my mind drift. I had to pay attention to my body, to Nykki's cues, to my balance, and to my practice.

Of course, balancing was tough; and I fell (or nearly so) out of crescent lunge and other postures felt very different in my body without that reassuring rudder of drishti and the horizon to steady me.

And I could not help but think, as I practiced, of those yogis who practice without sight - how precious such a gift (sight) is. When we finally opened out eyes, the studio, bathed in the golden sunlight of autumn and filled with healthy bodies in the midst of practice, was a beautiful place indeed.

Blindfold yoga - definitely something worth exploring.

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