Welcome to Songbird Yoga, where we use the tools of yoga to accept and embrace where we are and play with spreading our wings.
I decided to call my teaching practice Songbird Yoga because…well, because my name is Robin, and I love songbirds. Plus, when I polled my friends, almost all of them said it made them feel happy and nurtured.
It’s more than that, though.
Songbirds come in so many shapes, sizes, colors, and varieties—and their songs are as unique as the rest of them. They sing according to what time of day it is, what they’re doing, what the weather’s like, what’s happening around them.
They’re always telling each other how they’re feeling and what they’re doing.
Even the harshest, most piercing birds—think crows and ravens—tell a different story by how loudly or softly, quickly or slowly, they vocalize. I know, I know…we don’t usually think of crows as songbirds, but hey, I live in Seattle, the land of the crow! Plus, there’s a crow pose in most yoga traditions.
Birds are an amazing representation of diversity, and they’re so marvelously in-your-face with that diversity.
To me birds represent joy and creativity–and diversity–and what is possible.
When someone walks into a yoga class with me, I’m already expecting that they’re bringing all this uniqueness with them. We’re all shaped by the things we do, the things that have happened to us, the things we care about, want, and desire.
Even if we have ten fingers, ten toes, two arms, two legs, and so on (which not all of us do) it doesn’t mean all of those parts are going to add up to the same experience, or the same version of complete.
When I teach a yoga class, I start with the idea that we all need a lot of the same things—relaxation, movement, breath, mental and emotional stimulation—but that we’re all going to get those things in different ways. Your idea of energizing might be my idea of too-hard-and-I’m-going-to-hurt-myself-if-I-keep-on-with-this. My idea of relaxing might be your idea of Capital-B Boring.
If you take a class with me, you’ll often hear me say that the outside shape of a yoga pose, the way it looks to anyone watching, is way less important than the inside shape, the way it feels in your body. And, you are the only one who knows, based on how it feels in your body, whether a breathing practice is too fast, too slow, or just right.
My job is to be a guide, to explain, and teach, and support the yoga practices, but you’re the one who knows which practices are good for you at any given time.
As a human being, and as a yoga teacher, I want to help people find their version of complete, based on who they are and what the yoga practices can offer.