Need Some 'Me' Time?
Yoga is the irreplaceable friend that is there for you throughout your life. For many people, when yoga comes into your life, it is there for the long haul: the therapy that keeps you on top of the waves throughout the year. Even though you are a friend, a daughter, a mother, a teacher – you just need some time to just be you, stripped of all responsibility and relation. This “me” time is essential for my sanity! Without it, I start to feel a little lost like I am walking through a wood with no purpose nor direction (horrible memories of Duke of Edinburgh coming back). Life is busy and without stopping occasionally to reflect, the weeks pass you by. My aim is to live MINDFULLY and CONSCIOUSLY but in the haze of sleep –deprived nights, I would be lying if I said I didn’t spend a lot of the time in survival mode probably like every parent with a 10-month-old baby! But the intention is there and therefore at least I know which direction I want to be carried. I am aware that sometimes I feel like I am really living, rather than merely existing from day to day.
Let It Go!
Scorpios are known for holding on to all that hurts them, baring grudges that last so long that dungarees enter the fashion again. I can’t help it! Even when I try to forget about it, all I need is the one thought and the emotion is all so raw again. Obviously, because I am an adult I handle this in a very mature fashion: I just close down, making myself less vulnerable and less open (a real joy for my poor wife!) We all have our natural traits and ways about ourselves that we know aren’t necessarily good for our wellbeing but how can we intervene so that our natural reaction doesn’t become the status quo? For me, I have to give things time to marinate to see if the feeling evolve in anyway and then after that I decide either to let them go or to talk to someone about it so that I can see any issues more objectively away from my rather sensitive heart (hard to believe I know ;)). Yoga helps me achieve a more balanced receptive state (MOST of the time) where I react less even though I feel the same. This helps me feel more in control and hopefully, a better judge for where my energy is best spent.
If you are an emotional person, different emotions can both unite in force and contradict one another simultaneously. You feel something strongly but you don’t really understand why you feel that way. Also, you think you feel one emotion when it is only masking the root emotion underneath. There have been many occasions where I have felt pure anger and frustration to find, through introspection on the yoga mat, that I am actually just hurting (who knew?!) – I didn’t! Once I have recognised that, I can then ask myself why I am hurting and can see what worries or fears this all relates to. Wrapped up in the chaos of daily life, it is hard to unravel to the degree that clarity requires: you have to unpeel your layers. This will only happen when you feel you have the space and time to do so. Yoga is some times focused on becoming a better person but it is equally focused on self acceptance, self care and loving yourself in spite of all your perceived failings.
A mind with too many thoughts and ideas rarely has the focus to evolve any one thing. Buddha once said that the “mind is like a drunken monkey!’ in that is can be naturally unfocused and uncontrollable. The problem with this, is that sometimes the most powerful feelings can be lost – instinct for example, is such a powerful feeling that tells us so much but we have to be a certain level of connected to even know what it is that our instinct is telling us! Modern life is so distracting and the weight of what we feel we “should be doing” lies heavy on many of us. Some ideas have great value but are maybe meant for a later date so need to be temporarily parked to make space for perhaps ideas that have more presence and relevance to your current life. I guess this comes with an increased awareness and mindfulness, as you practice concentrating and being more present on the yoga mat, you become better at doing the same in your daily life. Namaste to that! Sometimes there is just chaos and I can cope with that some days too as clarity is always on its way.
The Need to Heal is Real!
Our wounds can distract us and the more we get and the deeper they go, the more likely it is that they will block us from the things that actually light us up and give us great happiness. Taking the time to acknowledge the parts of us that need to heal is a huge part of the healing process. I truly believe that healing starts first in the intention that is born from actually listening to the body. With less wounds, you are less defensive and more proactive because you feel less vulnerable, less like something that needs protecting. How wonderful to live openly – to be open to new opportunities and to be qualified to assume the best unless reason is given to think otherwise. I am not sure that this is a state that you feel you ever really fully achieve, more something you constantly aspire to.
Strengthen & Lengthen!
What I find interesting is how yoga is some thing that is both shared globally and is also, deeply personal. What yoga is for you and how it serves you may be somewhat different to the yogi breathing beside you, despite you doing the same class. You may be visually doing the same thing but in fact having, totally opposite experiences. Not only that, but what it means to you and what you need from it changes daily, weekly and from year to year. Sometimes I go to the mat not knowing which of the above I am really seeking and when I go to the mat for some “me” time, I realise that I am searching for focus or clarification in regards to some aspects of my life. Teaching people the physical practice of yoga is the easy bit: inviting them to go beyond the surface is very difficult terrain to navigate. You cannot make it happen for someone, it needs to arrive organically if it is to arrive at all. For some people yoga is just a nice way to exercise and a rather enjoyable stretching session and it is sometimes that for me too! Movement is a gift that should be celebrated and I often see yoga as that. In my opinion, all that matters is that your practice is enriching your life.
What is yoga to you? Can you relate to any of the above? I would love to hear from you so if you have anything you would like to share, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will always be delighted to hear from you J
Wishing you all a wonderful week,
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” I train with Victoria regularly and because she knows my strengths and weaknesses, I felt that she was able to focus on the parts of my body that needed it most. I am now 1 stone lighter, 20 times stronger and 100 times happier after 12 months with Free Spirit Fitness! “