A friend and I took a break in our Sunday beach run to do a few yoga stretches today. Here is one of the pics.
When I look at this photo I see a woman being goofy, maybe dancing in the rain, but what I’m actually doing is falling out of a yoga pose. A pose that I couldn’t quite master, no matter how hard or how many times I tried. I remember thinking, after failing again and again, that I had two options, get angry with myself or laugh at the situation. Clearly I chose the latter.
Thinking back to when I started practicing yoga about 15 years ago, I approached my practice with a humourless quest for perfection ~ hyper-extending my legs and frequently checking my neighbors with a sideways glance to see if I was doing better than them. I couldn’t have been more misguided if I tried. It took years for me to realize that yoga wasn’t at all about perfection or even form sometimes. It was about showing up regularly and making a commitment to starting a journey with myself. It was about relaxing into and accepting myself ~ my body, my limitations ~ and even laughing at and learning to love myself. And when I realized this, that is when my yoga practice finally opened up and became a source of joy for me. So here’s to falling out of crooked, imperfect yoga poses and loving it because every stumble is an important part of the journey. Your journey. Namaste.
I’m kicking this post off with some of my favourite photos from last summer’s idyllic Sunday night beach yoga class.
Practicing under a big, beautiful tree, overlooking the Pacific is a happy place to be and I was there like clockwork every Sunday evening.
Since summer is still a few months away and I’m gazing out the window at a grey, drizzly, springtime in Vancouver day, I’ve had to come up with a strategy to revive my lagging yoga practice. I’ve gone to the studio a handful of times over the winter and, although the studio is okay, it just ain’t the beach. And when my schedule gets hectic, the yoga studio seems to be the first thing to go. So, my strategy to bring yoga back into my life is short sessions twice a day, every day, in my comfy little livingroom. Also, as a sidenote, did you know that yoga alkalinizes the body? Yep, it does. I find this amazing as I thought only food was capable of doing this, but yoga actually removes stress so powerfully that it has an alkaline effect on our systems. The flexibility and alkaline factor make yoga a super healthy, anti-aging thing to do and, since I am on a quest for both of these qualities, below is the routine I’m adding to my world via mini sessions at home. The Routine
- Put on your favourite music
- Three Sun Salutations (include walking the dog and one legged downward dog)
- Two Wild Things (an amazing, full body stretch)
- Triangle pose one both sides (as a side-note, whenever I do this pose, my back does a gentle, chiropractor-like crack. A really good thing, I think)
- Dancers Pose
- Bridge or Wheel
- Shoulder Stand (Super anti-aging and re-balancing. I definitely recommend this for everyone.)
Instantaneously I felt the benefits of my little routine, especially in the evening. After a long day at the office and a sardine can-esque ride home on local transit, I’m ready for a shift from frazzled stress ball to laid-back yogini. And my mini yoga session always delivers.
Until summer returns…