Learning To Listen Off The Mat

It’s funny how the silence of a yoga room can teach us everything we need to learn about…

It’s funny how the silence of a yoga room can teach us everything we need to learn about communication. It happens by way of opening up our hamstrings, our hips or our shoulders. Consciously shape-shifting our bodies and offering open willingness allows us access to priceless communication skills.

We learn to listen on our mats. We learn that we can choose to listen to what has the most value and respond to even the most difficult parts of life in more beneficial ways. Words of encouragement subtly replace our mental chatter and our breath gives us access to the wide open space inside us.

But how do we translate this dreamy scenario to our daily lives? In a conversation with a friend or a partner?

Similar to the way we feel our body in a triangle pose, we can feel the atmosphere of our body when someone is talking to us. We can feel how our body responds to a certain tone, certain words and certain timing of discussions. Sometimes our physical responses are impulsive, and we say things that we regret.

Our speech is a often a clear reflection of our own minds. As we take more pauses, we are able to become more reflective and spacious. We are more likely to consider another way to move in the conversation rather than to fight or to defend. This shift in communication is life-changing. We see that we are no longer a victim to the power of our inner reactions or our impulses.

When we become more fluent in recognizing that we can transition from conversations that go nowhere to conversations that expand our relationships, we no longer tolerate talking in ways that diminish that possibility.

The cost is too high when we succumb to losing it with other people. Our words can be used in such powerful ways. Anything from our inner dialog, to intimate conversation, to public speeches — they all have the power to unite or to destroy. We have been given the vehicles of our bodies in which to sense, express and experience the world. We were gifted the power to communicate with each other. When we sit on our mats with our hands held in front of our hearts, we are choosing to make an offering. Perhaps our strongest intention is held right there in our body language: hands in prayer, eyes soft, heart open.

tracybioSixteen years ago, Tracy Bleier pursued a path of teaching yoga from some of the worlds most luminary teachers.  Her commitment derives from a long time love of learning.  After graduating with a Masters degree in English from Columbia University  she took to the classroom and spent five years teaching high school English. When she had the opportunity to combine her love of teaching with yoga she jumped at the chance. She founded Fairfield County’s first Vinyasa yoga studio 10 years ago.  There, she spent seven years co-leading the town’s most popular teacher training with her husband Mitchel Bleier.  One year ago, Tracy and Mitchel opened their own yoga studio together in Wilton, Connecticut called Yogapata. The studio is a reflection of Tracy’s dedication to educating her community about the service of yoga. She is a strong, intelligent, creative teacher whose poetic voice and down to earth approach profoundly influences students to move deep within the realm of their bodies and impacts the way they live their lives.