Yoga does this magical little ‘thing’ where it opens your eyes to YOU...
On a physical level, emotional level, energetic level…. You can’t avoid it.
We can notice changes in our bodies on a day-to-day basis, sometimes recognising a tightness in joints that wasn’t there the day before, or a complete shift in energy levels from one day to the next.
Sometimes it’s easier to find focus, and sometimes it feels as though your brain is disconnected from reality.
As long as we’re observing the changes, we’re doing the work.
Switching off from the practice and leaving your mat, grabbing your phone for distraction, or avoiding postures you hate, are only going to slow down the process of understanding yourself a bit better.
We hold a shit-load of emotions in our hips (which is why a lot of people find it really hard to open them). Yes, it’s uncomfortable to practice hip openers, but it’s also uncomfortable to embody emotion. The longer we avoid those bastard hip openers, the longer you’ll hold onto embodied emotion that isn’t doing you any good.
Do you ever notice that at certain times in life, forward folds have been more uncomfortable? You might find that at said times you’ve been really enjoying the finer things in life (like biscuits and wine). You see, forward folds compress the belly, and as much as high-waisted sucky-in Yoga pants can disguise our need to take care of our health, your asana practice will remind you if you’ve momentarily forgotten :)
(Currently dealing with this myself. Lockdown biscuit munchies are REAL y’all. Note to self – do NOT teach ‘flying splits’ after a billion Oreos. It does not feel good)
Have you ever experienced a practice where you’ve planned something very physical, only to notice your anxiety going flippin’ AWOL and your concentration levels at an all-time low? It’s a sign from your practice to SLOW THE EFF DOWN. Yes, exercise increases your endorphin levels which is great, but a constant spike in endorphins can mean you’re actually masking some emotion trying to squeeeeeeze it’s way out. So again, listen to your practice and allow yourself to slow down when you need to.
If you’ve been enjoying a Yoga practice for a while now, you’ll know what I’m talking about. You’ve probably noticed the benefits and started telling EVERYONE you know about the magic of Yoga (this is where you become a “Yoga Wanker” – technical term).
If you’re fairly new to the practice – The best is yet to come!
Guidance from good teachers and your own self practice are going to have you feeling INCREDIBLE.
Just you wait.
(SIDE NOTE – You have to actually do the practice to feel the benefit. The more your practice the easier it becomes, duh).