Practicing Yoga when you don't even have time to pee!
Today I am writing about practice again, but from a more personal point of view. Like everyone my practice ebbs and flows. Sometimes I can have practiced every day for a few weeks, usually I lose a couple of days each week. Occasionally I realise a whole week has passed without it. As well as feeling it in my body I notice how my mood and my ability to take life in my stride all suffer when I don’t practice. And how an extra effort is needed to re-establish that routine, then the satisfaction in doing so.
After a busy day that moment of stepping out, onto the mat and into my practice is so precious. Breathe in. Breathe out. Movement. Stasis. Effort. Release. I don’t see my teacher more than once every couple of months as he is 100 miles away, but between lessons the practice rarely gets stale. Working 1:1 means that my practice is designed for a certain time of day, to fit into the window of time I have available and have the potential for me to use this time every day. That doesn't mean it is easy to protect that time. Life gets in the way.
When I practice it may go smoothly or it may feel like I am fighting the breath, constantly distracted, or stuck with certain postures. With patience and persistence a few days later something usually settles and I experience a transformation in whatever was blocked before. This could be improved awareness, strength or co-ordination around a posture; a greater capacity in the breath; or an improved focus, be it fewer moments or distraction or becoming quicker at noticing and dismissing them.
Sometimes my experience of a particular posture will change so much in the two months that I wonder what on earth I was doing before!
A Yoga practice should work to integrate the body, breath and mind. Some days one of these aspects will come easier than another and sometimes it all feels hard, but when we keep practicing and take the long view there should be an upward trend. Looking at my practice sheets over the last year, in some ways it looks like the same practice but when you look closely it has evolved dramatically.
It has been such an interesting journey, especially when I contrast it against my Yoga practice before I had children: I had so much time! I could practice for an hour first thing in the morning, every morning! I had totally different goals too. I don’t think I appreciated the value of a Personal Practice as an opportunity to do one thing entirely for yourself each day. Now I think that is actually the most valuable aspect for me at this stage in my life, regardless of the content or the length or the practice.
Keep practicing! If you get stuck then get in touch and together we can find a way through.