Tonight when I taught I spoke of yoga being a tool for us to use- that yoga is here to service us and not for us to service yoga. It is well documented that yoga is an excellent way to de-stress and relax, to help restore harmony in our bodies in a time, in a world, when we probably need it the most.
It would be my guess, for more seasoned yogi’s or those that attend classes regularly that their is a relaxation response just by stepping on the mat or lying over the bolster with a comforting familiarity. The opening class chant or a teachers voice you know so well. These yogi’s may take deep breathing off the mat when times are stressful, subconsciously or perhaps consciously aware that extending the exhalation calms the nervous system, having a profound effect on our emotions. Or how simply how relaxing it can be to be in your body, watching your breath. These yogi’s may take a savasana to revive when feeling weary, they know exactly which way to twist or stretch when something feels tight and could do with a fresh blood supply. Or even just to know the joy of a a backbend or handstand spontaneously in the sunshine. This is I guess like a ‘yoga toolbox’ yoga’s service to us, a reward for our service to ourselves.
I choose to study yoga because I believe in the wonderful, healing, cleansing effects it has on our bodies, I believe in the science. (yes, I said science 🙂 ). I have a very big ‘yoga toolbox’ of things I have read and experienced as well as wonderful things shared to me by teacher and her teacher and all the other teachers i have experienced.
This week I had a terrible week, I searched and dug deep and I thought there was nothing in my toolbox that could help me; I was too irritated for pranayama, too depressed for dynamic asana that would have given me a bit of sparkle, my head far too jumbled for any serious attempt at meditation.
It was tonight with the wonderful power of hindsight, some clarity of mind and the old saying ‘practice what you preach’ I realised that this week in my darkest moment, I did 5 headstands sirsasana, I knew whilst on my head I had to be in that moment, if I wasn’t, I’d simply fall. The falling didn’t worry me it was losing that tremendous sense of strength. Thank you, yoga. Namaste.