I am writing this newsletter on the day before my birthday. 43! Yes, I’m not getting any younger and I feel it. Especially recently. I’ll come back to this later. Bear with me please.
I have been away from writing to you for few months. Actually, I’ve been away from nearly everything. These last few months have been very difficult and I have had to put my life in brackets. I’m not completely out of them still, a couple of months yet, but things are getting better, and I am starting to reconnect with my “normal” life. (The life I have had recently despite all the difficulties wasn’t normal? That seems a good subject to develop but it would be too long here, so I might do a Yin workshop on that theme 😉).
So reconnecting with my “normal” life (I don’t know what to call it otherwise) starts with coming back on my mat and practising Yoga. Because, yes, I haven’t practised for months (I told you, it’s been a very difficult time). Ring a bell from some of you? I know I’m not the only one in this situation.
So I came back to my mat a couple of weeks ago. I did a very easy practice of 30 minutes, a special one for menstruation. I know I didn’t pick the right moment to start again, but there’s never “the right perfect moment”. However, remember that a moment becomes perfect because you choose it. So I went on YouTube and chose a video. [You might think: “why does she need to follow a video, she’s a Yoga teacher after all?”. You are right, but I’m like everyone and sometimes I need the support of a teacher. When I practice, I am only a student, and after such a long break from the mat I really need a guide.] It went well and I felt really good after that. So the day after I came back on the mat for a 40-minute Vinyasa session (again with a video online). I didn’t enjoy it that much. That’s the trouble on videos online, you never know if they’re good. But to be honest the problem was my sensations. I didn’t recognise my body, it was like it was someone else’s body. I felt so heavy (yes I have put on some weight), stiff, weak, numb and even trapped in my body. It wasn’t pleasant at all. But I realised how much I was disconnected from it. Then I had a little health issue, nothing serious but it took me away from my mat again. Have you ever noticed, whenever you decide to re-start an activity (especially sport) and be committed to it, something happens…? I am a specialist at that. But this time I was aware of the reason. I put too much pressure on myself, because of course I want to have the same practice I used to have when I started Yoga – Rocket and Ashtanga 6 times a week, sometimes twice in a day – 13 years ago. Thinking if I did it once, I can do it again and I have to – I am a Yoga teacher after all – because I want to feel the same energy I had, etc. But behind every reason I have is that I want the same body! And THAT is my main issue. Again and again my demons about my body image come back. And as I get older, I think it is getting worse in a way, because now my body is getting older and I have to accept that as well as my hated body image. Two things to work on!
No surprise that my body said: “if you don’t accept me like that, I won’t allow you to come back on the mat. Respect me, don’t think about torturing me because I am not what you want me to be. That’s enough!”
I have told you all this because maybe some of you are afraid of coming back to the mat. Maybe some of you have tried once or twice and boom something happened. So maybe it’s time to increase your awareness about your demons.
I have practised few times since, with no pressure. The first 1-hour of Ashtanga was great (I like this practice, it makes me feel grounded) but I couldn’t move for 2 days after that. I did it again a few days later and the body didn’t complain that much (except a tiny sensation in my knee… ah these knees!). Then I did a full primary series and I survived (so far 😉). So as you see I am taking it easy. I think I will practice like this until I can increase the number of practices per week, but no pressure.
The other thing I realised with these latest practices is that I am getting more humble. First, it was really weird to see that I wasn’t able to do asanas that I used to do so easily (even when I was a beginner). This is mainly due to the lack of practice, of course, but also old injuries, age (I am accepting that, even dogs lose their energy with age and it’s not in their head, it’s not because they think they’re old… well I’m not in their thoughts anyway) and will. Practising without a teacher is definitely not easy… at least for me, I like being pushed a bit, or feeling the energy of a class.
Then I realized that I am quite ok with that now. Looks like my ego fade away.
If you have been away from your mat for a while I hope this loooooong newsletter will help you to go back to your yoga practice. If you are not sure but would like to try again, don’t hesitate to contact me. I also teach an online Easy Flow Yoga class on Wednesday evening at 6.30pm (London time). You can book directly through my website http://ownyoga.com/public-classes/
I also want to give you the opportunity to reconnect with a fun practice (Easy Sweaty Yoga) and relaxing Yin practice for 2 special events on the Sunday 4th and Saturday 10th December at 9.30am. You can enrol for 1 or 2 hours. The price for these events is £6 for one hour, £10 for two hours.
Sunday 4th Easy sweaty Yoga 9.30am + Yin Yoga 10.30am
Saturday 10th Easy sweaty Yoga 9.30am + Yin Yoga 10.30am
Please check on my website for more information http://ownyoga.com/workshops/ and booking http://ownyoga.com/public-classes/