The irony of teaching a class that takes me back to where it all began when I can’t be a part of it with my own physical practice myself.
Hence me quoting myself, sorry guys but I’m gonna own the opinion on Asanas for this one time, I feel I’m in a good place to share it…
A few people have praised me for my honesty in these blogs, so here we go again with another truth bomb: I’m still finding this hard.
I mean I’m finding this topic really hard but I’m finding the whole thing really hard, and it’s not just yoga I can’t seem to do right at the moment, my digital marketing work too.
I’m tired, confused and muddled a lot of the time, slow and phased out because of the blood thinners, or maybe the lack of yoga.
Everyone says rest – rest won’t heal me, movement heals me – the movement of the body.
Did you know the amazing effect a yoga pose can have on your body?
Plant your feet firmly on the ground.
Pause for a second.
Lift your toes and rock the weight around until they are firmly planted on the ground.
Draw in that sense of energy and support that the ground gives you, think of your feet as roots to a tree.
Just think about that for a second.
Imagine them going deep into the earth giving you strength and support.
Now think about that for second.
Work that energy up the body, feel the strength building from the ground up, through the calves, the thighs – activate the muscles in the thighs, engage your core – did it help you stand up nice and tall?
Slowly… rollllllllll your shoulders up, round and down and open your chest – your heart to the room in front of you.
Let your arms hang by your side palms facing forward. Open palms – welcome.
Take a full deep breath in and slowly, verrry slowly exhale.
Check your chin, is it parallel to the floor? Are you looking straight ahead?
How do you feel? Strong? Brave? Fearless?
Open your arms wide, let them fall to the back of the room a little – how does that feel? Empowering? Open? Free? Maybe a little vulnerable?
Now raise your hands and your gaze up to the sky – still keeping them open wide – open yourself to the universe – to possibility – to fate – to whatever you want.
Fingertips pointing, reaching, maybe even surrendering?
How good does that feel?
How awesome and epic did you make yourself feel?
Ask yourself – why do you think that is? What change in your body did you make to feel that?
So lemme ask you this, when someone is sad do you feel their pain too? When someone smiles does it make you feel happy? When someone gets physically hurt do you shudder?
Our emotions and physical bodies are so in tune it is unreal – the body and mind connection, we don’t even see it, we take it for granted and often ignore it:
When you are eating and your stomach says ‘too much’ do you ignore it, only to regret it later? When you are lying in the sun and your skin gets hot do you just think ‘oh well’, and stay in it too long then get sunburn? When you are cold and too busy to get a jumper do you ride through it and find yourself so cold you can’t warm up?
Let’s go deeper – when you want to cry do you hold it in? When you want to talk do you say nothing? Do you suppress your instinct, your natural emotions and jerk reaction of the body? When you know something is wrong do you listen to your gut? Or flat out ignore it and do it anyway?
Our bodies and our minds go through so much neglect on a day to day basis it is unreal.
Now I am not saying we should all quit our jobs smother ourselves in coconut oil and go vegan – no I am not, because we have to live, exist, pay bills, look after kids, turn up for work – and none of us can afford dieticians, beauticians, sports therapists, and all the rest that goes with it.
What I am saying is, well actually Olivia Newton John said it, but what I am saying now is: ‘let me hear your body talk’.
Let me see it, because when it talks to me I damn well know it is talking to you, and I can see if you are listening to it or not. I can see it from your breath, your face, your posture.
I can see if you are listening to your ego, and not your body.
And you know what? Now that I am on a physical movement ban until these stupid blood thinners get to work on my arm, I have realised something: the best conversation I have ever had was with my body – in every physical yoga practice I have ever done.
The best conversation ever.
I indulge in its senses, I give it what it wants, I look after it, hold it, hug it, open it, free it, nurture and relax it, I empower it, strengthen it, woo it… let’s face it, I basically take it out for the latest Star Wars movie, give it a big box of sweet and salty popcorn, buy it some cheap Star Wars memorabilia related tat, place a blanket over it to keep it warm, and say ‘there you go darlin”. Yes that’s what I do… cheap date, right?
In all seriousness, the best times I have ever had in my life are the times when I appreciated my body. Every whole part of it. And that ain’t every day. But it is some days now, which is an improvement.
And in fact, here’s a little story for you: even the DVT (because that is part of me now), even the DVT isn’t something I would ever give back.
Someone even asked me in a quiz two days ago: ‘if you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?’ my initial thought was ‘DVT’ then I thought ‘no. I would not change the fact that I have it, because that is an experience, a moment, a lesson, a learning curve, that is something that makes me who I god damn am inside and out and ain’t no one taking that away from me.’
That’s my body. That is who I am. That is what I am. That is me.
So accept your body, listen to its voice, understand what it wants, and feel the absolute utterly stunning beauty that a yoga pose can give you inside and out. Embrace it, bathe in it, bask in it, explore it, as Ron Burgundy would say: DRINK IT IN… because a good old yoga pose ALWAYS GOES DOWN SMOOTH.
Mic drop. BOOM.