It’s National Yoga Month and whether you’ve taken one yoga class or one hundred you likely have a yoga pose, or asana, that you love practicing (and some probably that make you want to drop down to child’s pose). While your admiration for a certain posture may change over time, it’s often that favorite pose that helps you best find stillness of the mind, grounds you down, and sometimes humbles you.
We caught up with five of Miami’s top yoga instructors to find out what their favorite yoga pose is and why. Here’s what we learned.
"For me yoga has always been a safe space for me to sit with myself. We develop so many patterns over the years and yoga has helped me be aware of the patterns that no longer benefit me. Being aware of them has gifted me the option to change those patterns and elevate myself out of the mud in the same way the lotus flower grows! In today’s society we are encouraged to accumulate and hoard but yoga has taught me that the more I carry the more I own the more I’m chained to that as my identity. For me I had to flip it and start over! That’s where my love for handstands was born. My physical expression of mentally rebelling against my learned habits and identity.”
"I have a couple of favorite yoga poses, but I love adding Patita Tarasana or Shooting Star to my sequencing. It’s a posture that incorporates stretch, strength and balance! As you enter the pose, grounding your palm and lengthening through the crown of your head, peeling your heart open. A beautiful dance. Shooting Star adds a creative element to my flows, with that little boost of energy to endure one of my Power classes!!"
"Handstands without a doubt are my favorite pose in yoga to practice. I’ve learned so much through my journey with handstands. Even though I’ve had a handstand for quite some time, there are still many days where it’s a struggle for me to find balance on my hands. I still have to work at them quite a bit and I still have to focus fully. Therefore, even though it’s my favorite pose it still keeps me very humble and reminds me that the work doesn’t stop just because I know how to do a certain pose. On the other hand, when I do find that perfect balance and I’m able to be still, upside down on my hands, it’s when I’m the most connected to my breath and the present moment."
"Warrior 2 or Vīrabhadrāsana is my favorite asana, but it hasn’t always been. When I first started practicing, it used to be unbearable for me to hold this pose. However, once I finally understood that nothing is permanent, I became comfortable in the uncomfortable on my mat and in my life. Now when I hold Warrior 2, I have more space between myself and my urges to get out of the discomfort. I’ve learned to recognize my discomfort, my feelings, feel them, watch them and stay in it until it passes."
"For me I’ve hit the point in my life that the reason I get on my mat again and again every day is not to try to perfect the poses or because I love doing asanas. I do it because of how amazing I feel the rest of my day. So many people hear the word yoga and their mind takes them to an image of some posture, like down dog or a backbend. But the poses are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to practicing yoga. The postures are just one (of many) tools to help you connect with your higher self. We do them to help burn away the stress that comes with life and remember that we’re supposed to feel happy, calm and at peace. All that being said, my favorite pose is definitely Savasana, or corpse pose. It’s traditionally the final posture we take and it prepares us to slide into a state of meditation. Nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment when you just finished a long deep hot intense sweaty practice and you're lying there in stillness, thoughtless, body vibrating as if each cell of my being is smiling. It’s like everything I did up until that point was to arrive there. Everything is perfect. Everything is as it should be. I always tell my students that Savasana is the most advanced pose and it’s true. To lie still, not move your body and most importantly not move your mind. It will heal you and rejuvenate you in more profound ways than any other posture."