It’s 6 am, the alarm clock freaks you out on a cold winter morning. You push the snooze button, every five minutes, for nine times, thinking that it will give you all you need to be ready for this day. In 45 minutes you crawl out of the bed, feeling even more tired than before. You are running late. You’ll get the coffee started, jump into clothes, while getting the mascara on. Multitasking at the best… drinking the coffee while driving to work, thinking about the hundreds of chores that you have piled up for today. Dinner, bills, kids, etc.
Sounds familiar? Would you be feeling little less stressed, little more centered, calm and focus, if you would have taken a few minutes to find your breath? Would you feel more energetic if you had done couple of sunsalution while the coffee was dripping?
I think one of the main problems about making time for our yoga, is that we actually think of yoga as something that needs to be fitted into our life, instead of thinking of yoga as something that is our life. Also a problem is that we think of being a yogi as somehow less than being a partner, or a employee, or a student or a friend. I know I might sound like a broken record, but I do really believe that yoga is much more than touching the toes- It is a way of life, practise that is not only physical, but also emotional, spiritual and mental, practise for self-transformation. Something that gives us much more than it takes.
How often do we think that the day will be or has been too hectic or stressful for a yoga class? It is so easy to look at that yoga class as another chore on our to-do list, but in reality, the moment we feel the life getting too hectic and stressful is the moment that yoga has most to offer. When we commiting to a yoga class, we should commit like we commit to a date with our best friend. Unfortunately very often the commitments we make to ourselves seem less important than the commitments we make to others, and that sucks! We need to love ourselves and show up for the precious time we get to spend with our beautiful SELVES!
And maybe we don’t always have that time, or finances to make the class, but that’s where the “yoga as a way of life” kicks in. The major focus of yoga is not the postures at all and most of my personal practise happens off the mat. Not saying that I wouldn’t be an ultimate asana-addict, but focusing only on posture practise, is like studying only one subject at school, never finding out that there is a world of knowledge in all the other classrooms.
Here is my favourite tips for Yoga of the Mat:
I love, love, love to practise yoga nidra before I jump to bed! (Here is a link to my yoga nidra recording , and there is heaps more on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGGqQ8TWPbM&t=349s)
Gentle hiking in nature with complete awareness and sense of presence, grounding myself by standing bare feet on grass feeling the earthly energy.
Reading yoga-related literature, listening to podcasts.
Instead of lounging on sofa, try sitting on the floor in bound angle pose while watching the “Game of Thrones” 😉 Why not try standing in mountain pose or why not even in tree pose while queuing in shops (my personal queuing pose at the moment is standing pigeon… slightly disturbing but so good for my piriformis). There are limited occasions to “strike a pose” off the mat.
When waking up, don’t check the phone first thing, but give yourself a gentle spinal twist, and feel the energy starting to flow, feel the digestive organs waking up, When you release your twist there will be a rush or fresh blood that will flood your digestive organs with fresh oxygen and nutrients. Twists are wonderful postures also if you deal with stress or anxiety. These postures will help you to decrease feelings of anxiousness. The stored tension is released in the body as you twist, which can have a positive effect on your mental state.
As my final words for today’s little blog, I recommend you to let go of utter control. Every day is different! We cannot make it to every class, every day, so choose your yoga. Go to a class one day, go for a meditative walk to a beach on another, read some motivating yoga literature and feel the gratitude wash over you as you rise your hands towards the sun in the early morning hours to salute the new day. This type of daily yoga commitment might sound different to what you had in mind, but let’s get real, that’s all pure-organic-soulful-disciplined-intentional yoga. Yoga isn’t just a perfectly aligned warrior pose, but it’s part of you! And the moment you open your eyes to that, you can find the light of yoga, learn to express your yoga with your every action, thought, speech and breath. Become a yogic being.
Wishing you all a yogalishious day!
Love and light