I have a hard time sitting still in most regular yoga classes. I really need to move more. Is it possible to move at a faster pace and still get my mind quiet?
— Young and Restless
This question I have to answer with a good old yes, but... The yes part applies to faster paced yoga classes. They're definitely available and vigorous. But like anything physical, they can be challenging if you jump into a level you're not in shape for. If you have a regular workout other than yoga, then these classes are OK and a good complement. You would look for styles called Hot Yoga, Ashtanga/Power Yoga or Yoga Pilates.
The "but" part of my answer refers to quieting your mind. The yoga masters likened the mind to a "drunken monkey" they studied hard to learn how to tame. And guess what they figured out to do? You guessed it! Sit still and watch the breath. But even master yogis got tired of that after a while. And hence the birth of hatha yoga, mindful movement! But to keep the mind quiet, they still had to watch the breath while they moved. That's why yoga often is called meditation in motion.
So yes, YR, you can move at any pace and keep your mind quiet if you learn how to use your breath. And that's learned easier in a New Beginner or slower paced class. Eventually you can enjoy that focus and inner peace and move faster at the same time.
DIANE UTASKI ANSWERS YOGA QUESTIONS in her columns; send questions to [email protected]. Find more info at www.cincyoga.com.