I’m not going to lie, today’s practice was hard. Not so much physically, but emotionally. I’d felt a bit “off” for the whole day, and if there’s one thing that yoga does it’s remove barriers that may have been put up around any negative or unhelpful feelings. In a slightly (over?)dramatic way, it can be likened to that point in “The Return of the King” when Frodo says that there’s “no veil between him and the wheel of fire”. Not that I’m saying that my deepest emotions are akin to Sauron’s firey and evil megalomania, just that it’s difficult verging on impossible to keep that veil raised while mindfully practising yoga.
All this meant that I struggled a bit with today’s practice. Those struggles culminated in seated forward fold. This is usually an enjoyable pose, as holding on to the outer edges of my feet really gives my incredibly tight shoulders a good stretch. Today, however, I just hated being all curled over. So, channeling the spirit of “find what feels good” (I really need to get one of Adriene’s t-shirts), I switched to camel, a heart opener, which felt so much better.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I do think it’s important to acknowledge and breathe through any negative feelings that arise, but this was just a bit too much. Building a home practice must surely be as much about moving away from something that is actively detrimental as it is about working to get beyond frustration and difficulty. I think this ties in with the “thoughtful” focus of today’s practice as well. Adriene’s accompanying email mentioned paying attention to the simple, little things, and feeling supported in making decisions that serve us. Rather than mindlessly pushing through a pose that was really not working for me, I made a conscious decision to shift to a pose that served me better at that moment. (That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it!)
Now that I’m almost a week into my 300 days, I’m thinking of expanding this blog a bit to cover other elements that I might decide to incorporate into the project as well as how effective I’m being in taking what I’m learning in yoga off the mat. I’d like to add some regular meditation, for example, and I’m going to be cleaning up my diet and experimenting with some new recipes. There are also various stories popping up in the news, mostly mental health related, that I might feel the need to write something about. Essentially I find that writing these posts every evening organizes my thoughts and pulls my day together quite nicely, so why not write about other things as well? (It remains to be seen, of course, how well that actually goes!)