The past few weeks I have been feeling unsettled. It’s not just a physical thing, but emotionally with a lot of things happening in my life – I’ve come home night after night drained and wanting nothing more than just curl up in bed and sleep. Not quite a funk I’m in, but just my heart feels full to the point of bursting. I realised the other day, that it actually coincided with me not being able to go to Bikram yoga. But luckily I found a way to stay in touch with myself!
Argh! I Can't Go To Yoga Class
But first things first. Why did I stop, you ask, since I was actually getting really into it? Well, a few health issues after seeing my doctor which forced me to reconsider putting myself in an environment that was probably not going to help me. Nothing bad – just some low blood pressure and low iron which makes me a little bit more susceptible to dizziness and fainting.
So a heated room – Doc’s orders are for a break. I’m really missing it. REALLY missing that time in class, on the mat where I don’t do anything for the next hour or so except be with myself and listen to my body. It’s not only physically cleansing but mentally and emotionally as well. So what’s a girl to do?
You Don't Need To Be On Your Mat To Stay Connected
The thing about yoga is that you don’t have to be in class, surrounded by other yogi’s, on a mat, decked in Lululemon, sipping coconut water to be connected. You can easily incorporate your yoga practice into your everyday life and feel the benefits.
Here are 4 tips to practice yoga in daily life:
1. Breathe often
From what I have learnt from yoga so far is that our breath, no matter how our body and mind responds is the one thing that remains constant and links it all together. It’s a hugely important part of yoga and it’s quite surprising how much we actually forget to breathe during the day. Spend a few moments in the day checking in with yourself – remember the adage – JUST BREATHE. Taking a few deep, calm breaths during the day will make you more mindful of yourself and help you negate some of the stress.
2. Be open
There’s a phrase in yoga that I read about which describes when you go into class without your mind already made up with what you can or can’t do – it’s called ‘beginner’s mind’. I struggle with this a lot because I know, for example, that I’ll suck at Tree pose or anything remotely asking me to balance. This beginner’s mind is so easily translatable into your life – approach life without any preconceived notions about yourself – be open to what it might bring and you may be pleasantly surprised. LET GO.
3. Look inside you
There’s a moment in yoga when you stop looking around you and you just focus on yourself and the movements you are doing. There is no-judgement in the room, but you only have eyes for yourself. This, I think is one of the most important things you can take into real life – instead of looking to other people for validation or approval, take the time to look inside yourself and be in tune.
4. Be calm
You might have had an awesome class or a really Sh**ty class and you expect the next one to be the same. Every day is a chance for something new to happen and be different to the day we had before. When starting something new, don’t look back or fret for the future – just be and look forward to the experience. Enjoy the moment.
While I haven’t been able to get to yoga consistently, I’m always surprised by how much it teaches me in such a short period of time. I’m already on the lookout for another studio (not heated!) that I can continue my practice.