Yoga, Blindfolded

I’ll never forget the first time I practiced yoga blindfolded. I wasn’t a blindfold virgin at this time mind you. I’d spent some good chunks of time blindfolded as part of my nature connection education. So I wasn’t prepared for what happened. I should have known.

It really changed my practice.

See I thought closing my eyes during practice was like wearing a blindfold. And they are sisters, it’s true. But just like sisters, they are not the same. Closing eyes is akin to windows with curtains. It’s easy to peak outside, catch a glimpse. A blindfold is more like a sensory deprivation tank for the eyes. The blindfold brings consciousness to the fact that eyes are closed and will remain that way until you pull up your second pair of eyelids!

So, what happened to me during that practice?

I went really deep into myself.

And it was such a gift. The world melted away. It was me with my breath and the sweet, healing darkness. I have a friend who describes darkness as a place where form melts, boundaries shift, and things can become really big…vast…open… That’s what I felt. It also gave me a totally different relationship to the poses. They began to feel more personal. Like I was developing a friendship with Warrior II. I stopped trying to do the pose. I started to become the pose. And in my personal opinion, this is how yoga should be. It’s about discovering our body, mind, heart, and spirit — it’s not about trying to get our leg behind our head (though that can be fun too!).

Have you ever practiced yoga blindfolded? Tell me your stories below, I want to hear from you!

And here’s a little exercise to try, just to get a taste of the experience. 1. Find yourself a blindfold. It can be a bandana, an eye mask, a scarf, it just cannot be transparent!  2. Sit down and take 10 deep breaths.  3. Now choose your favorite yoga warm-up pose or simple stretch that you know and do it blindfolded.  4. Share your experience in the comments section below. What was it like? And if you want an up-level, do your next yoga practice blindfolded!

Also, Sunday October 9th, 2011 I’m teaching a blindfolded yoga workshop at Two Rivers Yoga in Carnation, WA.

Go HERE for more details. (Click on the Workshops tab once you arrive.)

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5 Responses to Yoga, Blindfolded

  1. amy says:

    wow – i’m going to try some of those moves tomorrow morning. i’ve been eating with my eyes closed recently both on my own and with my brother – both experiences illuminating and helped me connect my whole body (not just my mouth or even digestion) with the act of eating. it was a bit blissful and a bit messy. i do get what you mean about blindfold veres eyes closed – for me it can go either way – sometimes the eyes closed can distract me from the sensory task in hand as so much of my brain is taken up with the task for battling to keep my eyes shut and other times eyes closed can bring a kind of self controlled bliss, a real stillness and sense of opting into an experience (when it would be so easy to opt out – ie open one’s eyes). hummm.

    PS: i’m not at all surprised a woman of your life experience isn’t a blindfold virgin!

  2. electrickat says:

    Thanks for your reply! What specifically did you feel and sense being blindfolded in your yoga practice?

    • ThirdEye says:

      Blindfolded, I was much better able to sense how my muscles and joints were working in conjunction with my breath.
      I also liked the class were we all had our eyes closed (our trainer said she mostly kept her eyes closed too) since it took out judgment and competition that should have no place in yoga.

  3. ThirdEye says:

    Agreed, closing your eyes is not the same thing as wearing a blindfold. I’m an instructor who once took another instructor’s class where, to everyone’s surprise, he offered blindfolds to anyone willing to wear them for at least part of the class. I was the only one to take him up on the offer, and found it a wonderful, totally new experience. Some time later, I was at a yoga instructor training where we discussed pratyahara, the limb of yoga consisting of withdrawal from the senses. Following this we did a master class where our trainer required us all to keep our eyes closed for a good part of the class. Despite her repeated reminders to keep them closed, I found myself peeking again and again. I wish I had the blindfold!

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