Finding the routine

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This can be a really hard time of the year to get back into the swing of things. Often 6 weeks into the the new year, the resolutions we made in the fresh excitement of New Years have fallen down the wayside or perhaps you are like me and are trying to find a steady routine so you can really capitalise on those resolutions!

I have felt as though I have been neglecting my yoga practice until I began re-reading Judith Lassater’s fabulous book, Living Your Yoga. I get so caught up in my own ego thinking I need a solid yoga practice of 1.5 hours a day…(shesh, I should be so lucky to find that hour and a half!) In her book Judith writes of her judgement of a coworker who says she meditates for 5 minutes a day and goes on to explain that its the quality and intention of the practice not the time you set. In fact in the book there are activities for spiritual growth and they are for short spaces of time 5 or ten minutes. 

Yesterday, after a long Monday at work I wanted to crawl home and hide from everything Monday related but I didn’t. I ducked into my yoga school before the evening class and had a beautiful solid 20 minute practice. It was only 20 minutes but that’s all I had. My practice did everything I had hoped; i had sweat, i felt lighter and longer and my mind was quieter. What happened next was amazing, I was content, I was happy with the practice and I let it go i didn’t nit pick about the sequence what I should have done first what could have been a better finishing pose etc. and when I got home I had the desire to clean my house, so I did unheard of for a Monday night, I know!

I’m learning that a routine doesn’t have to be set in stone and it certainly doesn’t have to have a set time limit. It should always be quality over quantity- thanks Judith Lassater! 

I think it is BKS Iyengar who said “we must cultivate what we want to grow” so find 10 minutes set your intention and  then let it go. 

 

Namaste xxx

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Yoga Intensive- the rest of the week….

ImageThe thing about yoga for many people and certainly for myself, it increases your sensitivity, five of the seven mornings of the intensive I cried. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, my tears often caught me by surprise as i felt the spontaneous warm drops spring from my eyes. Often I was trying to send the energy I was creating in my practice to a friend in need and other times I was releasing (or they were tears of petulance because I didn’t want the intensive to end!!). Yoga has brought about such an awareness of my emotional self and who I am, my body and the space around me- but unfortunately this awareness doesn’t come with an instruction manual and it can be difficult when you are looking at exactly who you are and unsure of whether you like it. Luckily yoga is also a vehicle for change and learning acceptance and the art of compassion can all come about through a practice. 

Each morning i was so surprised at how easy it was to wake up, get up and greet the freshness of each day. In Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science, it is optimal to rise before the sun and the first thing that you ingest for the day has a profound effect of how you feel for the remainder of the day- this week rather that a black coffee being the first thing i ingested I had lukewarm water with chlorophyll, and I think that this indeed had a profound effect on how I felt. My digestion has felt quieter, I have eaten and slept less but had more energy, I think being gluten free has helped in this too. I noticed in my inversions there is a lightness, rather than using brute strength and feeling somewhat like a baby elephant I was able to float up. (for the first time I could get into Pincha Mayurasana/forearm balance it felt releasing, I felt strong…and yes, I made my husband take a photograph of it!) 

Of the intensive the actual classes, the asana and the sequences felt timeless, the mornings have felt so magical and so right but then working the 5 working days of the week have been difficult. Possibly this is something that I realised about the intensive, there are factors in my life that make me quite unhappy. 

Another thing I realised about myself during this week is the way i habitually hold my diaphragm and upper abdominals and the toll this is taking on my physical, energetic and emotional body. I am now constantly reminding myself to relax. (a trip to the physio last night confirmed my suspicions of the problems this was causing.)  

It’s true that I didn’t want the intensive to end, but it has taught be so much about how wonderful discipline can be, while I usually practice yoga daily, some of that is rolling around on the mat, it is never practiced at the same time and my home practice has never had such a quietening effect of my whole body. I realise how valuable this mental quietness is and how wonderful my body feels, how sparkly my eyes are and how much more care I have for myself. I am determined to find much more ritual in my home practice, I am determined to be up before the sun, most of the week 😉 

 

With all of my heart I would like to thank my wonderful teacher, Wendy. 

Namaste. 

xxxx

Day 1 Yoga Intensive

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I was so excited to get back on the mat this morning, I couldn’t sleep last night! I finished work at 9pm last night and raced home showered and painted my toes bright orange (my favourite colour, does anyone else like to have nicely painted toes when they are doing yoga??!!) before oiling myself in sesame oil and hopping into bed. I kept waking up worried I’d missed my 4:30am alarm. The Yoga Intensive runs for 7 days, 6:30am classes, it runs each new year and is a chance to set an intention for the new year through a series of early morning classes.

When it was time to get up I sprung out of bed, here in Adelaide it was 45C degrees yesterday(113F) we are smack bang in the middle of a heatwave, my house was hot (my poor cats can manage a few steps before having to lie on the cool floorboards!) I opened the windows and let the dawn cool breeze inside the house- it was so lovely. I kissed my husband a sleepy kiss goodbye and set off at 5:30am. The world was cool and the birds good morning chatter warmed my heart- they sounded so animated and happy and it really seemed like they had so much to catch up on after their sleep! The world was covered in a cool blue shadow, the roads quiet and there is something really nice about being awake when all around you sleeps. I had found yoga before getting to yoga 🙂

I feel so inspired at the moment by my own health, I am trialing a Gluten Free diet to see if it improves my costchondritis (inflammation of the rib cartilage) as well as a course of pro-biotics and the best thing ever liquid chlorophyll! (Chlorophyll is what give green leafy’s their green and it is so easy to add a couple of teaspoons to a juice or mineral water or just have it straight to boost the nutrients in your diet, there is some really interesting research out there into the treatment and prevention of cancer with chlorophyll)

I can really feel a connection between what I eat and the chatter in my mind, by the time I got to yoga and laid down for pranayama, I was there I was in my body and it was so wonderful. The first asana we did were repetitions of adho mukha virasana and adho mukha svanasana, it felt so wonderful to be in my body the sun rising as I moved.

 

I can’t wait for tomorrow.

Namaste xxx