It might seem a little odd to count Day 5 of Yoga Revolution as Day 1 of my 300, but given that I only decided to embark on this project yesterday, it feels a little cheeky to retroactively count Days 1 to 4. In any event, I’m still trying to get my head round the concept of prana from yesterday’s practice, so perhaps it’s for the best that I don’t have to articulate my thoughts on that at the moment!
Today’s practice focused on listening to our own personal rhythm, the idea being that grace and awareness cultivated on the mat can be taken off the mat. When Adriene asked how we would describe our rhythm today, my immediate response was “pissed off” (which I then tried to reframe as “syncopated” or something like that, but “pissed off” was still the most accurate description). My day had been filled with little annoyances that culminated in some serious frustration this afternoon when I had what I would call a “polite argument” (it could have been a lot less polite, trust me!) via email with the people who are supposed to be making our wedding thank you cards. Anyway, I came to the mat feeling pretty antsy and prickly, but tried to observe and acknowledge that, rather than resist it and try to force myself into a generic “yoga mindset”.
I sometimes feel like yoga teaches you the lessons that you need to learn. Either that, or while you’re practising your mind is better able to extract what it needs. Perhaps it’s a bit of both, or perhaps it’s neither and I think about these things too deeply. Whatever it may be, today’s practice really made clear just how strong the connections are between the mind and body. Although balance isn’t exactly my strong point at the best of times, I have been noticing some improvement as my core strengthens and my focus becomes sharper. Today, however, my dancer’s pose was pretty much literally all over the place.
The frustrated mood that I brought with me to the mat meant that my focus wasn’t where it needed to be for me to be able to hold the pose. The real lesson for me, though, was that that doesn’t matter. I tend to judge myself very harshly and in black and white terms – succeed or fail, “do or do not, there is no try”. When I wobble or fall out of a posture, however briefly, that inner voice pipes up telling me that I’m rubbish and that I might as well not bother. Yoga is teaching me to hear that voice, but not to buy into what it’s saying. To accept where I am today, and to know that while it may be very different from where I was yesterday and where I will be tomorrow, every one of those situations is OK.
Some of the poses in this practice were wonderful. I love starting in extended child’s pose as my shoulders always need a bit of extra TLC before the practice gets going (and, to be honest, at every single other time of the day). The sort of lizard-variation-side-stretch post (I can’t think of anything else to call it!) was a new one to me, and definitely something I’ll be returning to as it hit the sweet spots in both my hips and upper back.
So, was I able to find my rhythm and take it off the mat? To an extent, yes. I didn’t really want to continue dancing to that pissed off rhythm that I was feeling at the start, and I think during the course of the practice I managed to move beyond that, or rather get behind it to start to reconnect to the non-prickly person beneath the frustration.
Let’s end with some music, since Adriene invited us to share our favourite “rhythm” songs. Here’s ‘Don’t Upset The Rhythm’ by The Noisettes, which I had stuck in my head for a while after practice and the title of which I think is… appropriate.