I’ve just had one of those self practices where you get on the mat, shut your eyes and just see what happens. I can highly recommend it. No leggings, no sports bra, just jeans and a vest and just a good dose of ‘needing to move’ without my self imposed routine. I’ve felt a little ‘out of sorts’ recently, my body just doesn’t feel as ‘strong’ and vibrant as usual and my shoulders are tense*. I’m putting it down to a few things; busy with work and teaching, a bit stressed, trying to balance an incredible man in my life coupled with associated feelings of guilt that i’m never spending enough time on just one thing.
It’s hard to just be though isn’t it? Isn’t it? I mean at the start of the yoga classes I teach I try to create a space for the practitioners to just ‘be’, to connect with their breath and their body. Yet sometimes I have to remind myself that I need that time too. I need to move around on my mat like no one is watching (mainly cause they’re not), put some melodic music on and just swirl around, going where feels good.
I recently went to an ‘Ode to the Moon’ workshop led by Eleonora Zampatti. A former sufferer of domestic violence, Eleonora created this sequence in harmony with a musician to create a space for those to feel and to let go of hurt. Her workshop encouraged us to be vulnerable on the mat, to listen to what our bodies said, to move slowly and with care and to ultimately be kind and nurturing to ourselves. It definitely touched me, I felt calmer, more tuned in and inspired by how gentle her teaching was. Check her out, she is quite an inspirational woman.
After so many years of being out of touch with my body, of wanting to punish it for letting me down I need to remember to be kind to it. My body actually IS getting stronger all the time. Sometimes it might not feel that obvious but it is. The body and mind, although one, can occasionally feel like two, I know that all too well. That’s why it’s such a beautiful experience to get on the mat and just try, because right now something might feel hard physically, but soon both mentally and physically it will feel a little easier, or maybe it might take longer than you want, and that is just fine. Just go where feels good. Close your eyes during your practice, close off a little, move into the space, invite in what comes to you.
*The shoulders and my mind feel happier after that practice!