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!

30 Days of Yoga: Day 9 – no yoga 

I’ve been feeling a bit out of sorts lately and was planning to go to a class today, in the end decided I was too tired and cold. So today’s yoga was no yoga. 

I’m finding the 30 day challenge quite hard, especially when it’s just me & my yoga mat. Going to class is easy, practicing at home isn’t. I think focusing on routine next week might be helpful, finding a grove and turning up on my mat at the same time each day. Perhaps before work, even if it’s just a 10-15min meditation.

 

30 Days of Yoga: Day 7 

Today I did two things towards my 30 day commitment. I’ve picked up a book called “Awake in the world” by Michael Stone, teachings from Yoga and Bhuddisim for living an engaged life. I’m quite interested in yoga philosophy and as I return to work I’d like to find better life/work balance, I think this book will help. I also went to my Iyengar class. Wednesday is the intermediate class and I really enjoy it, tonight we got to do backbends. I love backbends and have been feeling a little flat, backbends are great for depression apparently. Bring it on I say! 

  

30 Days of Yoga: Days 4 -6

The days are flying by! Today is day 6 of my 30 days of yoga challenge. I’ve been on the mat, however my practices at home are a bit half hearted. Yesterday I did nothing. Today I did a short practice & finished with a yoga nidra*. During the yoga nidra I fell asleep, so I’m obviously still pretty worn out from the travel and from being unwell. Today I was going to go to an evening class but I’ve decided not to, I’ll have a bath instead. My reserves are quite low and it’s too cold outside.

* yoga nidra is  like a guided meditation and is very relaxing, its known as ‘yogic sleep’ but you aren’t actually supposed to fall asleep.

30 Days of Yoga: Day 3

It is day 3 and I’m back in London. Today I went to my usual Iyengar yoga class and it was tiring but lovely. I’m jet lagged, anaemic and seriously lacking in strength. I got through the class OK but had to modify towards the end as I could’t hold myself up for shoulder stand or head stand. Because of my iffy neck I’ve not been able to do either for months now, so I have an alternative finishing sequence.

I’m 95% OK to modify in class these days and I’m happy to drop out of a posture and into child’s pose when I need to. This is a huge step from where I was before hip surgery when I’d go to classes and get frustrated. To be fair, before surgery I couldn’t do 75% of the class without triggering pain in my hip so no wonder I got pissed off with myself! These days I’m progressing in my practice and feel my strength is returning very slowly but surely.

 

30 Days of Yoga – Day 2: Being ok with imperfection

This morning my yoga practice happened in a spare 30min before going on a big flight. I was in my dad’s living room and I really enjoyed the heat of Thailand. My body loves the heat and it’s always easier for me to practice in a warm climate. My sacrum/lower back has been playing up and I’ve been getting nerve pain around the back of my pelvis and down my legs. This has happened before, so no cause of alarm. It usually settles in a few days and I have a few yoga postures I know help. So today, instead of doing the yoga practice from the online course, I chose to do my own thing. I am at a stage with my yoga that I can make stuff up and feel ok about doing that. During the practice feelings bubbled up around acceptance of imperfection. Imperfection in my body (the fatigue, chronic pain and ongoing injuries) and imperfection in my life.

There are a few things about my imperfect life that I need to accept, but there are some things that I can’t accept and that’s around my physical body. After years of chronic pain I’m STILL trying to regain fitness and strength. This is for two reasons, one I’ll feel better about myself and two, I really need to be stronger/fitter to have a life where I don’t need to worry about these silly little annoying injuries. I really want to be physically fit again. I think I’m at a speed bump and I need a little effort to get past it.

So today, it was a nice yoga practice and I’m looking forward to next week. I’m heading back to London today and will be doing my yoga practice in my own home. I’ve got a lovely space and feel very committed to the 30 days. I expect it will be a mix of going to classes and practicing at home. I’d like to integrate daily meditation into my practice too. I don’t mind what I end up doing, as long as I roll out the mat, check in with myself and spend some time on the mat.

I must say, I love the online course. I’m working through the booklet and it feels like Marianne is practicing alongside me. Her guidance and words of wisdom are definitely going to help me throughout the 30 days. There is also a Facebook group (closed group) that is there for support and encouragement.