Ahimsa, the first principle of yoga. Non-violence to yourself and others. Think about the language you use, and listen to the language of the teachers you choose. If we are inviting opening, release, strength, and softness in our relationship to our bodies, then do words such as ‘push’ ‘pull’ ‘drive’ ‘grip’ ‘squeeze’ ‘pull’ ‘press’ or ‘wedge’ have a place in our vocabulary? Notice the way in which we speak to the body, to ourselves? Some alternatives: feel, connect, move through, explore, play, undo. These kinds of words are not the kinds of words that make it easy to write a manual for ‘how to do yoga’ and they don’t fit neatly into a list of ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ as you move through a sequence of postures. But, what they do do is ask you to engage, to question, to discover yoga for yourself and to take responsibility for your practice.
So, what words inspire a sense of freedom, of joy in movement, of possibility, of aliveness for you? How could you be kinder in the way you talk to yourself on your mat, in the way that you approach your practice? What is your body language?