Close to the time I started practising yoga I remember a teacher in a class saying something like “how you are on your mat is how you are in life”. It stuck with me as I realised that day how true it is.
Thinking about your yoga practice consider a few things:
- Do you take time to really synchronise your breath to each movement or do you sneakily skip that bit to rush on to the next?
- Do you force yourself into positions before your body is ready?
- Do you only practice the poses that require least effort?
- Are all the poses you practice challenging?
- Do you compare yourself to other people in the class?
- What do you say to yourself whilst practising? Is it kind or critical?
- In savasana (corpse pose/ relaxation) do you allow your body & mind to full let go and relax?
- Looking at your answers, then ask yourself where in life are you like this also?
These are just a few examples of things to notice whilst practising. There is no right or wrong of course, it’s just a great tool to develop self awareness and the opportunity to explore if that way of being works for you or not.
I’ve mentioned it in previous posts that I have tendency to rush ahead, as a result I really have to slow myself down to focus on my breath when I move. I am currently practising a super slow home routine which is calming my whole system down and causing me to slow down in life off the mat too.
I’ve also challenged myself and not given up until I have succeeded, for example my mastery of the head stand last year. This was a fantastic confidence booster and reminder anything is possible once you set your mind to it. On the flip side I pushed myself so hard with my yoga all round last year that I ended up getting an injury, too much force in life and something is going to give.
Yoga is not about competition, vanity or being something you are not. It’s a practice to help you to connect body and mind, with your inner self, to nourish and care for your body.
I’ve noticed the more I have practised yoga the more aware I am of the diet I eat, the thoughts I have and the actions I take. This is all from a developed self awareness, on and off the mat. It’s also led me down a spiritual path, which a few years ago I never would have believed.
I am excited to announce I am starting a new yoga class this Thursday, 10.30am-12noon at Revitalise 86 Church St, Hove. Hope to see some of you there!