How I lost my yoga mojo July 26 2015, 0 Comments
Is anyone else finding this winter particularly challenging? Low energy, wanting to hibernate? Eating twice as much, having super strong sugar cravings, not wanting to exercise, just wanting to stay wrapped up in bed with a cup of tea? I am the first to put up my hand! I love the winter, I love snuggling in bed longer, rugging up in a winter coat and beanie, the fresh, crisp winter air as it hits my face. It makes me feel alive. But I don't like what else winter has brought with it.
I have a confession to make.
I haven't been to a yoga class in the last month or maybe more! If I have, it's been no more than 2-3 times. If I'm lucky. There you have it. Cat out of the bag. Done. To begin with I started making excuses... you've got your period, you're too tired, you're too busy, don't push yourself, go tomorrow, start back next week. All valid excuses at the time (so I kept telling myself). It got to the point that it was weeks, not just days since I'd last been to a yoga class. The longer it went, the harder it seemed to get back into a routine of going. I did some half-hearted asanas at home, a couple of stretches, a few pinchas up against my cupboard. Does supta baddha konasana during savasana in bed count? My life suddenly got so busy that I felt myself bursting at the seams. I had overcommitted, I had let slip the very things I know help me in busy times. I was frustrated and disappointed at myself. How was I back heading toward burn out again like the old days working in the hospital system? How had I let my beloved yoga fall off my schedule?
I just felt SO much resistance. An unbelievable amount of resistance. I would pack my yoga gear almost every day with the intention of making it to my favourite lunchtime class. I would set my alarm on a weekend aiming to get up for a morning class. But nope, nudda. I still couldn't do it.
So instead of push I decided to be curious. To get inside this resistance that I was feeling.
And something shifted in me.
Well a few things shifted. I decided to revisit my Core Desired Feelings of Ease, Spacious, Connection.
I decided to stop. Re-evaluate.
Observe my life from an outsider's perspective. Then what came next was huge.
I surrendered. I stopped pushing. I stopped giving myself the guilt trip. I decided to commence self-love 101. A deeper level of self-love than I thought was possible. I quit beating myself up. In between the constant natter of I must do more, I finally heard the whisper. I must do less. Ease, Spacious, Connection.
I decided to stop buying into Instagram's version of #yogaeverydamnday
I got real with myself. I decided to honour myself and my body. To be in the moment and where I was at. Which turns out was, um... well... absolutely exhausted. I felt blah! Working 4 days in my day job, coaching my beautiful clients, teaching a weekly meditation class, trying to build Yogamona, trying to catch up with family and friends (and not doing very well at it!), trying to keep the house in a recognisable state, all the while feeling incredible guilt for not getting enough done. I felt like I was just surviving, life wasn't so much fun anymore. Correct me if I'm wrong, but is it just women who think and act like this?! That we aren't doing or are enough?
I realised that it was ok that yoga had been put to the side. I decided to trust that it would return when it was meant to. Not to feel silly or foolish for having a business called Yogamona when I wasn't practising yoga very much at all (well asanas anyway). I revisited what I knew of the philosophy and my perspective of yoga. I was reminded that yoga was so much more than attending a yoga class and practising asana. Considering Patanjali's Eight Limbs of yoga, asana is just one of those eight limbs.
"Yoga should support our life and not be another demand that we put on ourselves. Our practice should cultivate inquiry, sensitivity, and kindness to ourselves. If we force ourselves to stick to the series no matter what is happening in our body and mind, we have missed the whole point of yoga. Some days we might be better off going for a walk in nature."
When I surrendered, something magical happened. More space was created. A lightness entered. A weightlessness. Less pressure. A deeper level of self-love, self-compassion, self-acceptance and self-forgiveness. A knowing that I am unique and I don't have to do what everyone else is doing. I don't have to push or feel guilty. I can get up and decide if I wish to go to yoga or not. It is a choice. My choice. Even if my business has yoga in the title. That doesn't mean I need to beat myself up - for not doing yoga, for not being incredibly flexible, for not posting more selfies striking a pose on Instagram and for not going to class every damn day.
"Yoga is meant to be a healing art. It is a long tradition that incorporates a lot more than just asanas" - Maty Ezraty.
Our yoga practice should be as unique as we are. No right or wrong.
Yoga is about love. Self-compassion. Forgiveness. Yoga is a way of life.
Yoga is more than going to a yoga class and ticking another thing off your to do list.
I know yoga will call me back. It always does. In fact, as soon as I hit publish I'll probably be heading back through the doors of one of my favourite studios. The yoga drought over!
Can you relate? How is this winter treating you? Are you tired of striving, pushing and guilt tripping over something? Is that little voice inside your head beating up on you when you've already got enough on your plate? If so, stop.
Ask yourself, what is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now, in this very moment? Sometimes it is to go to yoga, but often it is to take a bath, get a massage, read a book in bed. We live in a world with so much masculine yang 'doing' energy that we forget about the Divine Feminine yin 'receiving and being' energy. It's all about balance.
For me, this last month (and more!) it's been NOT going to yoga and NOT feeling guilty about it. I've taken baths, gone to bed with a hot wheat pack every night, I've drank loads of beautiful herbal teas, I've diffused essential oils, I've bought flowers for myself, I've said no to things, I've rested my body and my mind. I've still managed to get run down and sick so I've rested some more. Readjusted my self-care regime. I've prioritised 15-minute meditation most days. My savasana. My yoga. I've noticed I've been more mindful in other, more subtle ways. And for now that is enough. I am enough and you are too. With or without yoga we are enough.
Life doesn't have to be hard or a struggle. Surrender, listen to your body.
If you're feeling the winter blues and are called to seek support in your own journey, I would be honoured to guide you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or book in a 30 minute complimentary chat about how I can help you bring more ease, clarity and calm into your life using a range of practical strategies. If you're a fan of or curious about the Desire Map, perfect! I can explain the ways in which we can use this process through coaching during our chat.