After a slightly crazy weekend, I’m a little behind on blogging my Revolution journey. I also did two practices back to back today because, for both internal and external reasons, I just needed more yoga!
Day 25 was the first in a series of practices focusing on the chakras or energy centres, with this one focusing on the root chakra (at the base of the spine). Now I don’t know much about the chakras, and I’m not even sure if I actually believe they exist, so I put that aspect of the practice aside for a time when I’ve done a little more research and experimentation. I decided instead to focus on the sensations of feeling grounded and centred, feelings which I could definitely do with instilling more deeply in both my mind and body. It’s interesting how focusing on those sensations can result in miniscule adjustments to physical poses which in turn feed back in to increasing those same sensations. The highlight of this practice was definitely feeling significantly more stable in Tree than I had before, and marrying that strength with trying to really maintain full body awareness.
In between days 25 and 26, I got dressed up and went out for the first time since an abortive attempt recently when my BDD got the better of me. I tried to focus on that full body awareness that I’ve been working on in yoga, as a counter to my mind trying to focus obsessively on perceived problem areas. I did actually manage to go out wearing the outfit I’d originally planned to wear (the standard pattern is that I will choose an outfit in advance, then at the last minute revert to one of a very few familiar outfits which I feel hide or detract from the problem areas) and I didn’t get caught in the mirror. This is only one experience, I know, but I’m treating it as a victory!
Today I did Revolution days 26 and 27. Yesterday I had a bit of an emotional hangover from Friday night (in that drinking wine and eating sugar when I’ve not been doing much of either recently seemed to somehow fragment my mind a bit and I felt out of kilter for most of the day), and the world feels like it’s in such a dark place at the moment, that I needed some extra time on the mat.
Day 26’s creativity practice encouraged playfulness and some freestyling in several of the poses. What I really noticed in those moments is how much better I’m becoming at knowing what my body needs at any given time – how it wants to move, what needs to be stretched, what needs to be given a break, and so on. This is pretty major for someone who was so entirely disconnected from their body. In some ways I still am, or perhaps more accurately sometimes my mind strongly resists the connection, but I hope that by really being present in those moments when I can listen and respond, their frequency will increase.
Day 27 focused on the self and, as the accompanying email said, that’s the whole reason why I and so many others are on this Revolution journey.
“When we take time to connect with ourselves we are more capable of connecting with others in a way that serves both you and that person that you are connecting with. Cultivating a healthy and meaningful relationship with yourself is the foundation for creating healthy and meaningful relationships with others.”
I think it’s absolutely true that our relationship with ourselves affects our relationships with others. Yoga is, for me, such a brilliant way to cultivate that relationship because the mat is in so many ways a microcosm of the rest of our lives. We can observe how we react to triumphs and failures, can cultivate patience and ease with ourselves and our bodies, learn to just be in the present moment… this list goes on. I’m finding that I have moments of a calmer confidence that I did not have before, which I think must at least in part be attributable to the fact that through yoga I am becoming more comfortable in my own skin.
I ended today’s double practice feeling that I had pretty much managed to reset myself after yesterday’s hiccup, and even if I didn’t exactly feel better about everything else that’s going on in the world, I did feel a little more focused. Which is perhaps all that can be hoped for at the moment.