You would think that practicing yoga for nearly thirty years, that it would be the easiest thing in the world each day for me to get onto my mat and either get into a beautiful vinyassa flow to help improve my energy and fitness and build muscle strength or focus on my hatha practice to improve on my postures, whilst it draws in my awareness to my breath where I can develop my mental focus and connect to the body, mind and spirit. Or maybe some days it will be my Yin practice to stretch my muscles and facia throughout my body to increase the circulation and improve my flexibility.
This would be correct on most of the days in my life as it is not just a love of mine but has become something that is a part of my life rather than something that I regularly do (if that makes sense to you?)
Some days though I finding showing up on the mat for myself can be the hardest thing to do. I don't have a single chaturanga in me. Maybe this is because it is not just a physical practice but so much more that. It is a practice where concentration is fundamental as well as physical and mental effect and the proper knowledge of things concerning the self.
The days that are the hardest for me, aren't the days that I have had a late night before or I fancy a lazy day off from anything that requires any effort or I have got a full day planned with family or friends instead. These days are ones where for no reason whatsoever I wake up with a flat heavy feeling both inside and outside of me and just can't see past it.
Now anyone that knows me would find this so hard to believe as I am probably one of the most positive outgoing people that I know. Always trying to lift everyone else, giving advise on this is good for you and that is good for you (Quite annoyingly at times really but can't help myself!)
No these are days that have happened to me for the first time in my life. They started a couple of years back after loosing someone that I loved with all of my heart. Where when it happened, I was the member of my family that stayed the strongest, trying to hold everyone and everything together and felt that the most natural thing to do at the time but since then it has left me with days where out of the blue I find myself in a space that I feel frozen not knowing how to move forward from it. Where even the simplest of tasks like making a morning coffee for myself or even talking to someone feels impossible and I wanted to write this blog as I know that I am not the only one that experiences times like these whether it is for the same reason or another.
Luckily they don't happen very often to me but when they do, it's like being hit with a brick and I know through all of my years of practicing yoga and meditation that they are the only things that get me through these times, not even the kindness of friends and family with a huge hug or crawling back under the duvet, no matter how tempting this may be.
So every time no matter how hard, I roll out my mat without even a plan in mind, put on my music and allow yoga to be my medicine, allowing it to be my counsellor and a path into moving forward.
And then it starts . . . yoga doesn't have rules of how you have to move your body, it may be slow at first. Maybe one asana leads onto another but then within yoga it allows you to release your emotions through movement in the body (It doesn't even need to look pretty) reaching into every extension, flowing and expressing your feelings and being able to our it all out.
Within yoga you are always safe, it will not judge you, it allows you to let go of what hurts inside, always giving you the ground beneath to support and hold you and never pushing you further than you feel the need to go and always allowing you to see clearly whether you need to release more or come to a place of stillness that is now comfortable and safe enough for you to be with yourself and feel what you feel without feeling scared.
Life is a constant circle of ups and downs and this is normal but within yoga it gives you that place where you feel that this is ok and above all, you are not on your own.
Yoga teaches you that it is ok, not to be ok sometimes.
From my heart to yours