Happiness

Just now, I don’t need yoga

Yoga has been an integral part of my life. A constant feature in every single one of my days. For years, and years, and years.

Recently, this has changed. It started with a few days of not rolling out my mat. Then it became a week. Two weeks. Then I realised that – if I wanted to be honest with myself – I was only really doing my practice at most once a week.

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I got worried. Yoga has helped me manage moments of crisis, has sustained me in times of emotional turmoil, during uprooting moves to the other side of the world. Before childbirth. After childbirth. Why had I lost this connection?

I kept worrying. What was wrong with me? The practice had always worked so beautifully.

Then I realised that nothing was wrong. On the contrary, these were all signs that everything worked out just fine. Why?

Yoga had become such a fundamental part of my life that I wasn’t even noticing when I was practising. Slow, mindful breaths while waiting at the supermarket checkout. Consciously relaxing the face while waiting at the traffic light. Recognising signs of impatience or anger – and breathing through it. Acknowledging anxiety – and breathing through it (instead of reaching for the chocolate bar, or the glass of wine!).

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When all this dawned on me I was stupefied by how blind I had been. Yoga was working for me now – and I didn’t necessarily need to roll out the mat to find that connection. I was able to find it in everyday life. Not all the time, but sometimes.

After months of agonising over my “lack of interest” in asana practice, I finally understood that the yoga was working now. It was working because these were moments where I didn’t need the sticky mat as a vehicle to connect with the practice.

It was such a marvellous, beautiful discovery. Nothing was wrong with me, or with my life. On the contrary.

Did anyone have a similar experience? How did you deal with the situation?

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13 replies »

  1. I recently had a set back. I left my mat for a month. After going full charge every day for 2, recording videos to share, and posting daily some pose of social media. I just turned off. And not because I found yoga in everyday life. I feel shut out. I know the answer is to return to the mat. Just gotta get there and stop making excuses. Make time!

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    • I’ve been there, too. What worked for me was just rolling out the mat and lying down, just seeing what happens. Doing some light stretches, a bit of breathing – and before I knew it I was hooked again! 🙂

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  2. I can definitely identify with your experience of realising that yoga has found its way into everyday life. I regularly find myself breathing slowly and deeply whilst travelling home from work on the train – as well as consciously putting my tongue back in my lower mouth! And often whilst I’m walking, I become conscious of lowering my shoulders and pulling my lower abs in slightly. It just goes to prove that yoga is so much more than the shapes we make on the mat – it’s a way of life!

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    • Yes, walking is a good one! I used to see it as an inconvenience to get from A to B, but now I try and focus on the walk itself – and I’m always surprised by how much tension I actually hold, even though I might describe my state at that moment as “relaxed”….!

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  3. Im definitely not there yet, but can imagine it one day. Oddly I was talking with Hubby about this at the weekend. For some reason he started this line of thought, volunteering that he could see a day when I wouldn’t practise asana. Don’t stress it, the mat’s there whenever you need it! 🙂

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