Navigation Menu

The Art of Observation – January Yoga Challenge

Posted by on Dec 22, 2017

There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge… observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination.  – Denis Diderot

The new year is time of observation, reflection and the impulse to jump into action with new year resolutions.  In our haste to start anew and get moving in a different direction, one can lose the sense of where we are starting. The ancient yogis were scientists and the foundation of their science is refining the art of observation.  One of the basic tenets of scientific exploration is knowing where your baseline is.  We need to ask the question: Where am I now?  Without taking this pause for internal and external observation, it’s hard to appreciate the changes that we have experienced.  Through the next year, Evolution teachers will be exploring the Yamas and Niyamas, the first two limbs on the eight limbed path of yoga.  You can think of the Yamas and Niyamas as guidelines for how to live in the world ethically.  There are ten outer and inner observances outlined in the first two limbs.  Before we embark on this journey exploring these practices, we will spend the month of January cultivating the art of observation.  I encourage you to begin each practice checking in with your physical and energetic bodies and gathering your baseline.  In January we challenge you to start working on a 5 minute home practice, focusing on being present and honing your observational skills.  Each week we will provide a new practice to build on the next.  Four practices, four weeks with simple observation.  For our first practice, start in mountain pose and do a check in with your body, then start exploring sun breath.  Gaby Goldberg E-RYT 500, YT-1000 one of the lead trainers in our Yoga Teacher Training, has created our first video with sun breath variations.  Practice the art of observation allowing the breath to lead the movement and being fully present through this practice.  As the week progresses try to work through the variations that Gaby demonstrates in this video, gradually increasing your time working with your breath.  Finish your practice observing the effects in tadasana (mountain pose).  Stay tuned each week for a new practice from Gaby.  We hope that you will join us on this journey in 2018.

Happy New Year from all of us at Evolution.  I hope that 2018 brings you peace.

Warmly,

Janet Carscadden

Owner Evolution Physical Therapy and Yoga