I went to candlelight yoga last Thursday. I decided to skip my morning class and just got to work as any other week day, and make it to the 7:45-9:15pm class, which promised not only candles, but live music too. Now how sweet does that sound? It was. Sweet, reflective, intense, and an awesome workout.
I liked my Thursday morning classes. The instructor is enthusiastic and very nice. She helps each student get into the correct form and encourages without being pushy, which is much needed in yoga. The workout is great and because it was a slightly more advanced class I was getting the extra push I needed to try new poses and complete some I had never actually gotten right. I did a headstand in that class for the first time. At first, helped by her, and then on my own. It felt good.
But a part of me was missing, and have been for some time now, the meditative aspect of yoga. You see, since yoga became a trend in the US, it also became another way people could lose weight and stay fit. It was more about the exercise than the spiritual aspects of yoga, which was what drew me in to it in the first place back in 1998 when I discovered it. Back then, it was the balance I found between being able to quiet the mind, for the first time in my life (I as 26 then), and the awesome peaceful feeling I had once the session was done. Sure some of my muscles hurt the days after, I did get a workout from it, but that wasn’t the reason why I kept going back. I walked on clouds after class, that’s what kept me going back.
This time around yoga has been less of a meditative practice and more of a physical pursuit. Which is fine, but I was missing my walking on clouds feeling and wanted it back. So when I heard of a candlelight session with live music, I thought this just might be it! And it was. At least it’s closer to what I want than a mainly physical experience.
The class centers around an intention that each participant sets. Then we all light candles with that intention in mind and set it at the top of our mats. The candles burn all through our practice and the instructor keeps coming back to it and reminding us to keep the intention present. She emphasizes that all the physical effort we are doing is getting us one step closer to that intention, making it a little more palpable, a little more real. I loved it!
And the live music was very nice too. Very well aligned with the practice and the rhythm and flow of our movements. It was as close to perfect as I have experienced in a long time. I am definitely going back, and hopefully making it my weekly thing. I need to meditate more, I know this, but can’t seem to find the 10 minutes in the morning to do so, so I spend most the day, intermittently, repeating my affirmations and feeding positive thoughts into my body and mind. It helps. It works. But I need more, and this candlelight yoga session just might be it. Hurray for yoga!