What are you showing up for in yoga? Is it to stretch and release muscular tension so that you can train harder in your other athletic pursuits? Is it to relax and decompress from a hectic working week? Or is it the girls (or guys) in stretchy pants next to you that’s the draw card?
All are valid reasons to come to yoga – even the latter. I’ve heard them all. No rights or wrongs. I’m just stoked you’re doing it. My big ‘Why’ and the reason I get up each day is to inspire positive physical movement, greater body awareness and an expanded state of ‘alertness’ well after your time off the mat. That’s it. All we’re doing during that hour or so on the mat is dynamic stretching and deep breath work but it has the potential to unlock way more if you want it to.
Injury Prevention & Greater Body Respect
Yoga gives you the opportunity to be in tune with your body, knowing when to back off if something hurts or doesn’t feel right. It can be that one window in your day or week that you’re encouraged to feel sensations, gauge your energy levels and respond accordingly leading to not only greater body awareness and respect but can be the golden key to injury prevention and/or faster recovery.
Your body is going to be and feel different every time you roll out the mat. I love this because, although frustrating at times, it teaches me to treat every time as though it’s the first I’ve done it. This keeps me alert, my practice fresh and encourages me to take this sense of ‘alertness’ or curiosity off the mat and into the rest of my day. Like a child who sees everything through fresh eyes, I challenge you to see your practice like this. Being curious off the mat to be a better listener, communicator, friend and lover.
Slow The F#ck Down
At the risk of generalising, we live a fairly distracted life. As you read this on your computer or phone I wonder how many other browsers you have open, music you’re listening to…are you eating whilst you’re doing this, putting your make up on and nursing a child all at the same time…? You get the point. Yoga teaching me, above anything else, to slow down, be conscious, ‘feel’ and speak and act from a place of authenticity. Easier said than done. Yoga’s a practice just like anything else and it’s a constant, every day practice – a lifestyle – but a way to live fully.