Yoga or Hibernation?
The winter months are some of the hardest months of the year to get yourself out of the house to keep up your Yoga practice. You may have had a bad day at work, you get on the very late train or bus or sit in a traffic jam you feel tired and stressed out maybe the start of a tension headache is coming. At the start of the day you had every good intention going out to practise Yoga, as you travel home from work this good intention is starting to leave you. It's so easy to get in from work and not come back out. It's dark, cold and you're tired, you take off your coat, sit down in your favourite chair... maybe a glass of wine would be nice, this may help (you think). This is of course a big mistake; alcohol is a depressant it will just add to the problem - adding negativity to your life when you need positivity to get you back out and on the mat.
The morning after you feel a little disappointed with yourself (negative emotions) as you had every good intention of going out to Yoga. The path of Yoga, just like anything else, needs mental discipline, but when you do get that focus and that discipline the benefits are huge.
Here are some ideas to help you establish a regular practice and get yourself back on the mat.
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- Find one day a week when you know it is possible for you to make a class, steer everything else as much as you can around that class... this is your time.
- Write a post-it note to yourself placing it on your bedside table the night before the class.
- Before you get out of bed each morning practice some mindful breathing. Breathe in for a slow count of three and out for a slow count of three, practice five times... this can be very powerful connecting you to your mind, body and spirit and can make all the difference to your day.
- Set yourself a reminder on your smartphone to remind you the day before and/or also on the day of the class.
- Make sure that the family are taken care of and they know you are going out.
- Have a healthy snack late afternoon if going to an evening class, bananas are great for energy and easy to digest, resisting the urge to eat when you get in stopping your practice.
- For Evening classes - take a pair of leggings or track bottoms to work with you. If you can come straight from work change at The Den. You can come to The Yoga Den up to 20 minutes before a session. I have books on Yoga, Buddhism, Mindfulness or you can bring your own book if you so wish. Alternatively just lie down and rest your body and mind restoring your energy before the class.
Yoga is very powerful; much like the way water gradually can change the shape of a rock or cliff, Yoga gently changes our state from negative or unwell, to positive and vibrant.
Don't give up and remember that you can read about what Yoga does, but one can only gain the benefits Yoga has to offer from direct experience that takes a degree of patience, perseverance and lots of practise.
I'll leave you with a very apt quote... enjoy
[blockquote align="center" cite="BKS Iyengar"]In today’s hectic world, with its many and varied demands, yoga acts as a relaxing balm, counterbalancing frantic lifestyles by quieting the mind and allowing individuals to slow down and to savour and live in the present moment.[/blockquote]