Silent Yoga nurtures embodiment, intention, and focus. I lead students out of anxious thought patterns and draw their focus into the physical body.
The flow and playlist are curated to encourage students to FEEL. Music has a way of loosening knots in the heart - shifting and massaging moods. Low lighting cuts vulnerability - drawing students into personal yogi bubbles. Noise-canceling headphones foster focus - funneling my voice into students' lovely little ears. This ambiance creates and encapsulates individual experience.
Silent Yoga is a moving guided meditation suitable for all levels. I cue EVERYTHING - rarely naming poses. Rather than calling "downward dog" or "Adho Mukha savasana," I cue the string of muscle activation required to transition. The headphones anchor attention to sound, and my cues anchor attention in the body. Students focus on being rather than thinking - stilling the mind while moving the body.
Anchoring focus is easier when students withdraw from the other senses, namely - sight. Relying on the instructor or another student to shadow is a shortcut - a shortcut AROUND presence.
Also, humans do not convert visual information to kinesthetic posture very well. Monkey see - monkey do poor impression. Following other yogis is like copying another student's homework 10 minutes before it's due. The work gets done, the learning does not, and it looks pretty sloppy.
Silent Yoga is an invitation to strengthen the mind-body connection by practicing intentional focus. Deliberate focus is the foundation of any meditative practice. Meditation is the practice of intentionally defining the scope of awareness, anchoring attention, noticing when the anchor slips or scope widens, and intentionally corralling rogue focus.
I encourage students to focus only on hearing and feeling while actively remaining withdrawn from most visual information. When attention slips outward - draw it back in, repeat.
The bandwidth for human attention is not infinite. Twenty years ago, when a commercial came on television, we changed the channel. Now, this overpopulated and consumer-driven world either demands or conspires for attention; changing the station doesn't always feel like an option. By cultivating intentional focus, students will more easily decipher what stimulus does and does not deserve or require our attention.
The self and the body are the most indispensable elements of life. Only by becoming aware and present to the essential can we filter out the extra (shit we don't need). Silent Yoga is an opportunity to practice self- and body-awareness, which will, in turn, cultivate focus on the essential rather than the extras while students live their lives off the mat.
Also - the playlist smacks, and my voice is hella soothing.