“Body not stiff, mind is.”
It’s funny to have entered into doing yoga on as regular a basis as possible with no expectations. In some ways it’s frustrating, because I suppose what people commonly regard as “advanced yogis” are those who can do inversions for hours or whatever. I couldn’t even tell you whether it’s easier for me to put my hands flat on the floor in forward fold, it’s just easier for me to surrender my mind and let go to where I’m meant to be.
I can basically attest if I have made any kind of physical progress with my yoga, it’s because I’ve focussed on everything but that. When I turn up, I’m finding I get deeper more easily, however if I show up to class anxious, I still take a while to scrape below that surface. Having a heightened awareness into my thoughts and feelings sometimes means, I’m altogether too conscious of them to surrender beyond them immediately.
I’m finding that my life isn’t necessarily easier with yoga in it, it’s that I live it with more clarity.
I’m not sure why I continue to go – and I am asking this question of myself as to why I have decided to make this a habit. Beyond the beauty of routine, to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning just for my hour to myself. I’m finding that my life isn’t necessarily easier with yoga in it, it’s that I live it with more clarity.
After one session quite early on I had a midweek day off work. I didn’t plan much beyond (as I always tend to do) some grand plans of lifting a lot of heavy weights and running myself into exhaustion. What I ended up doing instead, was leaving the yoga class to buy a laundry basket and talk to my Mother as I did so. I don’t know why it took me so long, but for whatever reason, that ridiculous blue laundry basket I selected for my sweaty unmentionables was probably the first tangible symbol of uncovering that which I have been avoiding in my life. Yoga has set about this snowballing effect, in which I am finally achieving the whole “sorting my life out” process.
Yoga is teaching me to do what scares me the most
Some things are small, like the laundry basket, (however even this in turn prompted me to clear out my entire closet and wipe down all surfaces). Today I submitted all my job applications for next year, having organised my references in advance. This is a monumentous ten days beyond the due date. I have previously been someone fortunately successful at being fueled by urgency – and propelled there by urgent behaviour in the lead up to it.
Other life choices I’ve made while doing yoga? Changing my intended specialty for my future career completely through coming to terms with my real priorities (as opposed to my expectations of myself), rejoining a gym, finally deciding to put sleep at the top of my priorities for good and to cut down on swearing. It’s a two way process that’s occurring – I think it’s because I know that on most days of the week I choose to be with myself for an hour. And that hour is at times (Saddle!) excruciatingly, emotionally uncomfortable. When I turn up feeling determined in my resolve and positive in my mindset, I get somewhere deep and find a positive, coming out smiling and energised.
I am my own self-fulfilling prophecy
This is not always the case. When I’m avoiding what I’m worrying about, I can barely see above the surface of my circular thought patterns (typically and trivially what I am going to eat to lose weight, what I need to do and the inevitable shooting down of myself for not having done either already). It’s exhausting to detach myself from that which brings me down, but thankfully it is in doing that, that yoga helps me realise what is worrying me the most. I don’t get to the core of anything, rather I simply realise what it is I really want.
Yoga is teaching me to do what scares me the most – I suppose this is abstractly represented in finding my edge in a pose, but most definitely exemplified in the fact that I leave class propelled towards doing the damn thing that scares me most.
I am my own self-fulfilling prophecy.