Each morning was greeted with my own version of a Sun Salute. Surrounded by the things that inspired me; pebbles, feathers, pressed leaves and pond green pictures, it’s here I met yoga. First year uni taught me a lot, and looking back it wasn’t the lectures that stayed with me. Here’s a few things I’ve learned from my relationship with yoga…
- Be small & brave – Sometimes having a good cry in Child’s Pose is just the right yoga for today. Giving yourself space to feel takes courage.
- Be big – Sometimes a spontaneous and strong yoga session in the bush after a big walk is just the right yoga for today. Doing yoga as the moment arises feels amazing, committing to a routine is just one way to get to know yoga.
- Be simple – uncomplicated, short and frequent yoga is often better than the occasional long ‘yoga binge’ session.
- Be authentic – The only way to know what is authentic is to listen. Copying the person next to you in a yoga class isn’t really yoga – it’s stretching. Listening and focusing on your own breath, body & mind cultivates real juicy supportive yoga.
- Just turn up – if you don’t really feel like doing your yoga session, just turn up to your mat and see what happens. Or try again tomorrow.
- No-one cares about your hamstrings – flexibility is lovely, it really is, but moving with your body’s changing needs and being ‘internally’ flexible will take you further in life than touching your toes.
- Venture off your mat – try yoga outside after your walk, in the car or nip off to the ladies for a few stilling breaths. Many times I’ve stood supported by grounding Tree Pose in the bathroom before a meeting, a park to nurse my broken heart and under the lights of a yoga class. Yoga isn’t bound by the edges of your mat.
- Take a peek at your relationships – one of my teachers told me, ‘if you want to know how your yoga practice is going, take a look at your relationships’. Our relationship with ourselves and others plays out in the microcosm of our yoga practice. I also think it flows the other way too. Listening, practicing kindness and being realistic with yourself through yoga, helps foster these qualities in your relationships.
- Have a sense of humor – my teacher Marian would remind me, ‘don’t take it all too seriously, it’s only yoga’. How refreshing to just enjoy something wonderful, without the weight of expectation. With practice, maybe we can apply this to life too.
I love teaching pregnancy yoga, it’s such a special and sometimes challenging time. I find yoga can be a very nourishing touch stone of balance, both for mum and baby.