Thinking about whether to do your practice or not is a slippery slope. Our thoughts are tricky, easily derailed, and unreliable for doing what is best for us.
Not getting to your mat can be tempting when the weather is bad. And without the commitment in advance, it won't get any easier.
Take your decision to practice once, in advance, when your feeling pro-active. It is soooo much easier than deciding each day or week whether or not to turn up. If you are constantly questioning whether your practice is going to happen, then Autumn is the season where it will really slide.
Pick your time, pick your class, book it in and stick to it, enjoy that you did it. The same way that you don't think about cleaning your teeth each day, you already committed to doing that as part of your life years ago. Yoga practice should be developed to be that same positive habit.
I took a drenching this morning going to the studio. But it made me feel alive, vibrant, and great to be outside, rather than home watching the rain. It is always hard when you have to decide to leave the house. Commit ahead of time, book your term or pre-book your month's classes using your membership to help you stick to your good intentions.
You'll always be glad you did.
There is plenty in our lives that we have to do; we have responsibilities and obligations. But we can also make a conscious choice when the opportunity arises to resist being busy and distracted.
What can you do more of now that will feel right when you reflect at the end of your life?
It doesn't matter how much movement or breath or focus you are able to muster that day. Showing up, engaging in practice, connecting to your body, breath and more subtle aspects of yourself can be easily neglected, but remain instantly retrievable just by showing up next time.
Top tip: if you find you haven't got an hour or 15 minutes that week for practice, remove yourself from social media for a day and see how much time you actually have.
What help can you need to support you in showing up?
Many yoga practitioners leave it there. The fruit of practice has served its purpose, the body and mind are happy, all is good. Roll on the next practice where we do this again.
But perhaps, at some point in your developing practice of yoga, this body focus and breath focus will become more familiar and come more naturally to you. The teacher will need to offer less instruction as your own enquiry and focus will lead the way. The body and mind may become less demanding and needy, allowing for greater stability and perhaps allowing space for other aspects to emerge.
The teacher may become instrumental in guiding you in more subtle matters or ways of practicing. Rather than allowing the sometimes whimsical ways of the mind lead the way, guidance and direction can be very helpful.
The monthly Sunday sessions at YogaSpace are intended to really put further developments of yoga practice, beyond the immediate benefits and side-effects of practice, front and centre and open it up to discussion.
Reflecting on this past Sunday's morning practice we went into the depths of what the concept of 'energy' in our yoga practice might mean. Not in a text book definition, not what the ancients made of it, leaving aside theories of coiled snakes or conceptual energy centres, not in a physics theory (E = mc2 anyone?), but the actual, direct experience of energy - the stuff we are made from.
Can we feel it?
What does it feel like?
What can we 'do' with this feeling?
Can we change it or manipulate it?
Find deep rest in it?
Does it mean anything?
Can we experience it at all?
Finding a first person perspective of our energy without it being 'out there' (literally and metaphorically). You can't be told this, you can only experience it for yourself. It might be subtle, it might be powerful, it is certainly very curious.
If your curious about your practice, perhaps join us one Sunday and participate in the practice and then discussion.
Founder of YogaSpace,
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