It has been an interesting progression for me, one for whom flexibility has always seemed to come easily, yet as I entered my 5th decade (yes, 5th! I'm 40) on this planet in 2014, has come to hurt my body.
In my young(er) life, I was a free spirit, go with the flow, vinyasa till your head falls off type of yogi.
In recent years, I have become more and more fond of the slow flow, the alignment-based, the do-this-so-you-can-do-that-better style of practice and of teaching.
Interestingly, in my life, I have also taken a stronger stand, I have aligned more solidly with ME, I have taken some scary steps forward. I live the do-this-so-you-can-do-that-better lifestyle. Step by step.
Who knows if there is a connection between my strength in my physical body and my strength in my life. Yet, as I have explained to many a friend and fellow yogi, I was before a dancer. I am still that artist. Just as dance is a physical expression of a thought, feeling, story, my yoga is my physical expression of the same.
As with all things, what I experience in my life is a story told through my teaching. Through the postures, the sequence, and through the themes I bring to those postures and sequence.
When we move slowly, we engage more, we build strength. We are able to cultivate a deeper awareness of our body, which translates to the deeper layers (the Koshas) of our being. And, in the space that we create between the poses, we give ourselves time to experience the pose, to allow the pose to work on us, and to learn more clearly and more fully about who our true self is.