Ask a Guru: Carrie Owerko
Compiled by Renee Choi
1. How do you think yoga has changed your body over the years (prevention-wise)? What's the biggest “a-ha” moment you had in asana?
Yoga has helped my body become more resilient and adaptable. The same would be true for my mind. The practice develops one's capacity to change and adapt to a variety of circumstances. As for an a-ha! moment, there have been so many, and there still are the many little a-ha! moments that come because the practice also develops spontaneity and there is always something new to discover; there is no end to looking—no end to seeing. But many years ago I realized how significant it was when I was able to relax my eyes, tongue and jaw. Especially the jaw—letting go in my jaw helped unlock my whole body/mind.
2. Have you ever taken a "break" from yoga, or do you ever take a day off from the asana practice since you first became a student of Iyengar?
Honestly I have never taken a "break" from the practice. I love practice. It is like breathing for me. As long as I am breathing, I give myself the daily nourishment of practice.
3. What has been the biggest change in your practice over the years?
I have come out of the box. My practice is much more of an exploration, a true inquiry, than it has ever been. Many things that I used to care about have lost their pull on my psyche. I am in it because of a love of learning, and I love how there is always something new to discover/uncover. I don't care if it fits in a certain "box" anymore.
4. How do you mentally handle watching your body change?
Change is challenging and wonderful and a fact of life. I am trying to go with it, play with it, dance with it. T.S. Eliot wrote: "There is only the dance." So...dance!