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This spring, we had the enjoyment of studying from Annie Carpenter at our Bondi and Fitzroy studios!


Annie created her faculty, SmartFlow Yoga, 15 years in the past and is lovingly often known as ‘The Trainer’s Trainer’. Having spent lengthy durations of time practising and finding out Integral, Iyengar and Ashtanga Yoga, Annie believes that there are various great approaches to the observe and that we’ll all discover precisely what we’d like as our lives and our bodies evolve. 


The dedication to observe is the essence. What we observe will broaden and mature.


One lesson from Annie’s coaching notably drove this residence for me when she had us think about the probabilities that come up after we keep nonetheless for slightly longer. 


We’ve all been there. Holding Warrior 2, quad trembling, breath heavy, sweat dripping. “Yet another spherical of breath…!” the instructor directs, and the tip of that final exhale can’t come quickly sufficient. As a lot as we love a flowing, dynamic Vinyasa class, there are items in these moments after we keep in longer holds. After we stay within the pose for longer than we could need to, giving the form the prospect to disclose its classes to us. 


Generally the lesson might be so simple as realising you might be stronger than you suppose. On different days, the lesson might be to take heed to your physique and relaxation. In case you can not hold a easy, regular cadence of breath, are you able to permit your self to take a step again so you possibly can return to a spot of equanimity and calm? Or are you all the time pushing for extra?


Remaining in poses for longer holds helps us really feel that dance of steadiness and ease, or what yogis check with as sthira sukha. The place is that fringe of discovering our energy, whereas not over-efforting in methods we don’t must? 


Discovering sthira sukha, discovering steadiness, modifications from each day, class to class, pose to pose.


In practising staying slightly longer, you would possibly think about among the following:


  • Can I keep when issues get onerous?
  • Can I take heed to myself in deeper and extra refined methods? What do I want immediately?
  • Can I discover the quiet even in intense poses?
  • Can I stay regular and calm via the poses I like and the poses I discover tough?


In our trendy world, we’re so usually regularly on the go, overworking ourselves and shifting from one factor to the following with out pause. Yoga gives us a welcome distinction to the remainder of our lives. Repeatedly shifting on too rapidly to the following factor can hold us from experiencing true pleasure, true peace, and true presence. After we permit ourselves to remain in stillness, keep within the pose maybe slightly longer than we’re habitually comfy with, that’s when the magic of yoga can unfold. If we keep nonetheless lengthy sufficient, we would additionally uncover extra about ourselves. That is one other deeper observe of yoga – self-study, or svadhyaya.


Earlier than speeding into the brand new yr with all the brand new stuff you need to begin doing immediately, think about slowing down, pausing, and asking your self: 


  • What’s right here proper now? 
  • What am I grateful for proper now? 
  • What’s already unfolding in entrance of me? 


Yoga gives us these practices that carry us again to the current second over and over. If we need to discover the road of sthira sukha, all that’s required is that we hold unrolling our yoga mats and discovering ease within the uneasy.


Annie’s SmartFlow coaching was a beautiful reminder that oftentimes advancing our observe doesn’t imply mastering handstands or pincha mayurasana (forearm stand)!


“Whereas we could also be practising extra ‘superior’ asana, the advancing of our observe is definitely revealed by sustained refined focus and the inclusion of extra limbs of yoga,” says Annie.


Advancing our observe would possibly imply softening within the occasions after we’d often hold pushing. It might imply including pranayama to the tip of our yoga lessons. It might imply utilizing the questions above as journaling prompts, practising svadhyaya. Or, it would imply merely staying nonetheless for longer and making it to our mats extra constantly.


We hope you’ll be a part of us in 2023 (or proceed to affix us!), deepening your understanding of this stunning observe along with us.


You may be a part of our Head of Training and Lead Trainer Coach, Gina Brescianini, for one more Annie Carpenter Motion Masterclass coaching utilising SmartFlow Ideas in 2023! You too can discover her educating SmartFlow-themed lessons in our Bondi & Manly studios.


Written by Katie Tetz
Studio Enterprise Supervisor | Ever Inspiring Author & Yoga Trainer for Energy Dwelling Australia



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