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The Art of Leaving.
How you exit a pose is just as important as how you enter a pose, which are both as important as the pose itself. Many injuries tend to occur during the transitions of moving into or out of poses. Whenever I teach, I rarely just call out the name of a pose. I specify how to enter, in what stages, at what pace, with which breath, and what focus. Then I guide my students out of the pose with the same amount of care. While some may find this too slow or informational, this level of detail calls us to tend to our body and movements in a way that fosters safety and prevents injury; moving too quickly and without awareness is the easiest way to hurt yourself in yoga. Paying attention to how we enter and exit also helps us develop body awareness so we are empowered to heal ourselves.

A teacher of mine used to say, “End everything on a good note.” Whether this applies to leaving relationships, jobs, cities, or poses, when the time has come to exit, do so gracefully and with care. Each time you recall a memory of that time, you will not feel burdened or sad or regretful, but feel the depth of the experience with gratitude and appreciation.

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(at Los Angeles, California)

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