Checking in

There is a thing that I do whenever I spent time on my yoga mat, and that is checking in with myself. How am I today? How is my body feeling? This is a thing many yogi’s do.

I’ve just realised there is a 2nd habitual check in that I do regularly. Every time I’m in the shower for the last several years I have always checked in with myself. How is my body feeling? How are my energy levels? I remember the old days before surgery and I could tell how painful my day would be by the number of pain free minutes in the morning. A shower is always one of the first things I do in the mornings and I used to almost always feel pain during my shower. If I ever had a whole shower without pain I knew it would be a really good day.

Tonight I was going to go to a fairly athletic yoga class, I’ve got my period and its not a nice one. Very heavy and quite painful. I had a shower before going to the yoga class and I automatically ‘checked in’ and decided that I really don’t have the energy for yoga class tonight. Instead I’ll have a shower, put my PJ’s on, finish tidying the house, watch some Netflix and do some restorative yoga before bed.

Its funny the little routines we develop. I’ve been pain free (ish) for well over 6 months now and yet I still check in with myself in the shower!

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30 Days of Yoga: Weeks 2 & 3

Well well well… confession time. I’ve dropped the commitment and let life get away with me again! There is definitely a mental block for me when it comes to practicing at home. The good news, I’ve been going to yoga classes 2-3 x a week so its not as if I’ve not been doing yoga.

Reading through Marianne’s PDF booklet of the blog posts, week two was ‘Keep this party jumping’ and there were some good tips on how to integrate a home practice into a busy life.

One of the key messages I took away from the guide was that “I am bringing a wise inner teacher who always knows what is best for my body”.  This is a good one to stop and reflect on.  I am a wise inner teacher and if I listen to myself I know that:

  • I really do want to have some sort of a daily practice and be a bit more disciplined about it. Sometimes I’m a bit lazy or am struggling to put my wellbeing first.
  • Right now ‘a little every day’ is better for me than ‘a lot every now and then’.
  • I need a more challenging physical practice as my health is deteriorating at the moment, I’m putting on weight due to the new medication I’m on and I’m getting ‘soft’.  My current practice of going to classes 2-3 x a week isn’t enough.
  • My home practice at the moment is very much freestyle and a bit unruly. I do what feels right and often end up doing physio exercises on the mat (habit). I’m not loving being on my mat at home, I think because of my history of using a home practice to do physio exercises. This mindset can be changed. Part of the intention I set was to bring joy to my practice.  Perhaps I can do this via listening to music as I practice.
  • I like to break out into random stretches doing my day, half of my stretches are yoga moves. I like to do yoga everywhere.  Sometimes I even mediate on the tube!
  • I’ve been pretty exhausted in the last few months and I need to cut myself some slack. Sometimes no yoga is my yoga.  Yoga Nidra helps immensely when I’m over tired.

The good yoga news since my last update. I’ve booked in to work with a teacher in Prague who will be teaching me the basics of the Prana Vashya yoga sequence. This is the yoga practice I used to do before I hurt my hip all those years ago. The sequence is quite athletic which is why I’ve decided to learn it slowly while based in London. I’m hoping I can build it up in 2016 and be at a point where I can return to Mysore (India) to study it with my Indian yoga teacher and international yoga friends.  It’s nice to have a goal.

But back to the present.  Er…30 days.  Where did my commitment go?  I think tiredness and my lack of routine has killed my commitment, so its time to focus (once again) on routine. Something I know my body needs/wants and something I struggle to follow.  I’m going to give up on trying to do my home practice in the morning and introduce it as an early evening or before bed activity. This is when I typically go to classes anyway, so its what my body is used to.  I think I’ll also consider going back to the videos and the practice Marianne has given me, aiming to do that particular practice 1-2 x a week.

I’m going to go back to day 10. 20 days to go.  Lets see how I get on!