I blame yoga

Today I spilt an entire aeropress load of coffee on to the counter, the floor and my barefeet.

Coffee grounds everywhere, inbetween my toes.

I shrugged, thought ‘ah….well that wasnt the plan’ and then calmly cleared up the mess and just carried on making my morning coffee.

A year ago an incident like this could have broken me, I would have no doubt cried. Exasperated. Why me? Why now? My coffee!

My morning ruined, my mood for the day set.

Today though, I wouldnt even refer to this as an ‘ incident’.  It probably set my day back by about 2mins. I had zero emotional attachment to it.

I blame yoga.

Since making yoga a daily practice,  the benefits I have noticed physically and the increased strength in my injured shoulder had been my main focus for measuring progress.

‘how long can I hold plank for? ‘ ‘ how many times can I come down through chutarunga dhandasana into urdva mukha svanasana’ ‘how long and low can I fold in paschimottonasana? ‘

I completely failed to acknowledge the biggest change in me: my mental health.

I met a dear friend for lunch last week and he told me he could notice the change in me from last year. We would meet for lunch in our work lunch hours from the office and he said it would be a good 45 mins of me angrilly ranting about work and life and purging my frustrations. It was apparently amusing.

But now I rant alot less. I don’t really remember the last time I got truly angry or cried with frustration. And whilst recent intense experiences have brought back anxiety and panic attacks (no one likes exams), otherwise I just havent been having panic attacks like I used to.

And it’s not just me.

One of my students who I won’t name, came to me with anxiety as the reason he wanted to try yoga.

He emailed me a little while back to thank me for my classes saying that he hadnt had a panic attack in weeks. I was so touched and felt so grateful.

Imagine being able to be a positive influence on someones mental wellbeing! (thank you Yoga) x

I have watched this particular student blossom in his physical practice too. Becoming flexible and moving with more grace.

I am so so proud of all my beautiful students. Xx

I blame yoga for alot of good things in my life. The word yoga derives from the meaning to unite, to join together, to yoke. It is the unity of the physical body and the mind.

One last little story for you…

I suffer with heat stroke pretty badly and last night after a full day of teaching classes, plenty of caffeine and not alot of water… I had some kind of fit. (I’ve been recovering from a hospital stint for months so often my body just does really weird stuff) my body convulsed and everything contracted and shook. When the fit finished, I felt I couldnt feel or move my legs or upper arms.

Luckily Charlie was home to help me. I would have panicked (tbf it was scary as…) but instead I focused on breathing, and moving what I *could* feel. It took an hour, but when I finally got my body and mind back together  ; I could feel everything but my right foot.

As I tried desperately #thestruggleisreal to move my toes, just wiggle my toes with my mind… My right big toe twitched and moved to the side!

My feet were operated on 5times when I was a teenager, and I havent been able to move my right big toe for 20 years.

Last night, with concentration, determination and a whole load of pranayama; I created a new (or reconnected an old) neurological pathway from my mind through my nervous system to my toe.

And you KNOW I cried them happy tears of gratitude.

I had to lose feeling in my whole body to gain back the ability to move my toe… But it was worth it.

I blame yoga for my success.

Every day.

I blame Yoga. Xxx

The life changing Magic of 30 Days of Yoga.

Wow.

Just Wow.

A few nights ago I stayed up to watch the Super Blue Blood moon & then the following morning I got up at 6.30am to complete day 30 of the Yoga with Adriene TRUE: 30 days of yoga.

The moon the night before was so incredible; and at about 00.30 ish the moon had clouds passing in front of it, and as they did; there appeared an incredible rainbow of colours in a perfect circle around the moon…. A Moonbow. I had never seen one before and had no idea you could even get that kind of thing – so of course…. I lost my shit. Crying tears of pure wonderment; basically acting like the guy from the viral youtube ‘double rainbow’ video, whilst Charlie watched me and laughed.

All joking aside; in that moment I had pure clarity.

We are only here once and our lives are as short and rare as the colours displayed by passing clouds over supermoons.

I knew what I had to do.

But first…. I had to complete 30 days of yoga.

I have done this 30day journey for the past 3 x Januarys and the first go round (yoga camp) I didn’t manage to stick to it. The 2nd go around I completed every day and got really emotional on day 30 when suddenly; the instruction was gone and in its place was only music and a guest appearance from Adriene’s dog Benji.

This year I did the 30 days of yoga every day…. Except I didn’t do it alone. Some days I did it with a friend, 1 or 2 days I had David with me and most days (almost every day) I got up at 7am to do the video with Charlie before we both went to work, then we did extra videos in the evening so as to make up 60-90mins of yoga a day. This routine has completely changed our mornings and we’re noticeably happier people.

So day 30…. I knew what was coming… and in the intro, I was already welling up even as Adriene herself said “I’m getting emotional”. Day 30 is always an emotional day. There is something so beautiful, tragic and uplifting about it. You have spent the past 29 days cultivating a daily practice, learning new poses and new variations on the asanas you knew before. All the while your girl Adriene has got your back.  The video for day 30 however has no instruction at all. Just really really beautiful music and beautiful Adriene rocking out on her yoga mat on the screen.

At first you keep your eyes open and try to peek at the screen and follow exactly what she is doing… but you can’t really follow her movements, not really, after a time, despite trying, it actually becomes detrimental to your own practice of yoga by continually jerking yourself away from your breath and your own energy to see what she might be doing next.

 

And then it dawns on you.

You’re not meant to follow her movements. You’re meant to follow her example.

The moment you begin to focus on your own breath, you find you get out of sync with whats happening in the video and there is a longing for teacher  – but an almost painful realisation that the time has come to break away and “be you” ; the title of our day 30 video… the time is now to be you. And even though it’s scary at first and even though you don’t want to, …

… you break away. You come into sync with whats happening with you.

You start to focus on your own breath, link it up with your own movement and a smile, bittersweet, creeps over your face as the tears fall; #allthefeels , as you realise ; you are already a yogi.

Adriene has taught you all you need to know right now to let go and breathe, to give in and surrender: Be. Here. Now.

A beautiful moment of synchronisation happens when I realise we both have come to tree pose at the same time; (about 21min 40secs into the video) I start to tear up as I hear a previous years theme music (from Yoga Camp – the one I couldn’t complete) come on and Charlie looks at me and says “look; …you’re both in Tree” and sure enough, my guru, my teacher, the one who had me coming back to yoga each and every time, was with me all along. Then I realise, all this time, my Charlie has been with me and he has been following my movements … as if I was his teacher. Then I remember that I taught him his first yoga class. In a way I have a responsibility to him as my student. So nothing made me prouder when eventually he came out of sync with me and I watched him cultivate his own yoga practice, following the vocab he knew from our time together. *beaming* The music from yoga revolution last year plays in my ears and the music of pure love plays in my heart.

Look how far we’ve come!

A few moments later, when this year’s TRUE theme song starts to play, we find our way to the mat for Sukasana, lift our thumbs up to the third eye, take a deep breath in , Jai Namaste .

I walked in to work that day (1st February) and I knew just what to do.

I handed in my notice.

Ending my 13 year career as an IT Support Specialist.

To become a Yoga instructor.

Finally… I sighed.

And the universe sighed right along with me…