Why yoga is my biggest teacher
Sometimes I have a love:hate relationship with yoga but there's something about it that just keeps drawing me back...
Every so often I get on my mat and wonder why on earth I do yoga, my body just doesn’t feel made for it. It's tight and stiff and it physically hurts as I move from one pose to the next, resisting with all its energy. It takes forever to warm up, it feels weak and inflexible, like it’s going to snap in two. I want to throw my mat out of the room as instead of directing my attention inwards I watch other people seemingly easily gliding from pose to pose as my mind goes into overdrive.
It can feel like a constant battle between the body and the mind. Trying to relax both at the same time can feel like a herculean battle. So many different emotions can arise; frustration, anger, jealousy, insecurity, sadness, all coming to the surface in one foul swoop. I can literally love it and hate it in the same breath.
It can feel like a constant battle between the body and the mind. Trying to relax both at the same time can feel like a herculean battle.
So why when something can make me feel like this do I keep returning to the mat day in day out, for my daily fix? What if I didn’t bother, what if I just stayed snuggled up in my bed each morning instead of reluctantly getting my ass out of bed to class.
Yoga just seems to have this amazing way of setting me up each day. In puts me in such a good headspace; positive, more relaxed, feeling freer in my body and with that calmer in the mind. It challenges me in every sense of the word; to stop pressing the snooze button, to find space in my body, to accept where I am in my practice, to practising non-judgement of myself and others, to letting go of insecurities and jealousy.
And as I move through my practice I notice that the frustrations I am feeling turn to letting go, anger turns to learning how to be kind to myself, jealousy of other people's abilities turns to acceptance of where I am in the present moment and how insanely lucky I am to even be on the mat.
I have learnt how those frustrations and emotions on the mat are purely a reflection of the frustrations and emotions I have within my everyday life. Facing them on the mat, bringing them up to the surface, allows me to deal with them, to get them out of my system, to let go and move on rather than suppressing them deep within my body.
The days when you learn that it really doesn't matter, to just give yourself a break and breathe and let go.
So instead of hating those days, I realise the need for them. How those days where you find yourself struggling through the practice are actually the best days, the days that teach you so much about yourself. The days that enable you to release some of that junk deep within your body. The days when you learn that it really doesn't matter, to just give yourself a break and breathe and let go.