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.)