I will be the first to admit that having a daily yoga practice is not all feelings of peace and tranquillity. Unrolling or stepping on to your mat daily is relatively easy but the challenging part is to actually be proactive and do some sort of practice. Whether it is simple breathing techniques, meditation, gentle movements or a full blown 2 hour practice, whatever sparks that fire to go for it needs some fuel to get you from A and B. Point A being that fuzzy state of rolling out of bed and onto the mat, avoiding checking emails and other distractions along the way. And point B being that place when you arrive, stripped away from the ‘to do’ list and the ponderings of the mind about what is happening later that day.
So what to do? As soon as you are vertical grab your mat and roll it out in your bedroom, living room, studio or meditation space. Just roll it out. Then walk away and go about your morning routine of going to the loo, oil pulling, brushing your teeth or whatever. Make yourself a warm drink – this may be some herbal tea or hot water with a squeeze of lemon. Take this and sit on your mat. That’s right, sit on your mat with your drink.
Continuing to let the mind wander as you are sitting on your mat with your morning drink and just observe where you physically are. Does this simple act of sitting on your mat inspire you to move, stretch or give yourself a massage? I know each time I do this my body’s memory reacts to the simple act of sitting on my mat and it instantly wants to move, make shapes and unravel the fuzz of the night before.
So far all you are doing is sitting on your mat with your tea, observing yourself. Maybe you want to lay down? Perfect. Then lay down and maybe you find yourself in a gentle twist. Without any effort involved you are mindlessly waking up your spine with some gentle twisting that also helps detoxify the organs.
So in a few super simple steps you have made it from A and B. Now once you arrive at B, what path you take next is entirely up to you. Following a set sequence is great but so is following your intuition and listening to your body’s wisdom. I am not talking about the wisdom that wants a double shot mocha first thing in the morning but the wisdom which resides deeper than this. Listen to the messages deep in your hips, your hamstrings and your shoulders. How do they want to move, open and be challenged?
One thing I absolutely love about the type of yoga I practice is that I have permission to change it up as and when I feel to. Taking into account my energy level, the time of day or night, the season, the moon cycle and even my own cycle. How often do you resist something because your body contracts at the mere thought of it? Or maybe you just push on through. In my opinion there is a type of yoga for every reason and season. We are in a constant state of flux and change so if you need to change your practice even just your breath count then do it! Liberate yourself from this attachment, all you have to do is sit, witness, listen, feel and breathe. Your body will know what to do.