January 6, 2012 § 7 Comments

2011 ended in a rush. A last-minute, challenging assignment right before flying off to spend Christmas in France meant that no yoga was done for the whole month. The intention was there though, in the form of two yoga mats diligently trooped across the Atlantic only to rest in the cupboard for three whole weeks. I am never too far away from the edge of guilt for anything, so there was a fair amount of mental self-flagellation going on at the start. But halfway through the trip, it stopped. I could look at my mat in the cupboard, after a long day of eating and drinking and not feel guilty about neglecting it. A positive development? I like to think so, if only because it allowed me to be truly present with each moment, without having the dark cloud of guilt constantly hanging over my head.

This chilled out attitude towards the practice has spilled over into 2012. My body is replete with aches and pains as it eases back into the routine of asana practice after a month away, two plane rides and countless hours in a car. The knot deep in my right hip is more present than ever and the four Prasarita variations remind me that my inner thighs are not as elastic as they were before the gap. But I’m not too bothered by it. I have shortened my practices since coming home. The first day I practiced up to Navasana, and since then I’ve extended it to Baddha Konasana. Skipping vinyasas between sides. No dropbacks. I’m taking it slow, tuning in to where my body is at, right now, so that I can practice more sustainably and not wipe myself out with just one practice.

It’s this attitude of compassion that I hope to cultivate this year. A compassion that requires slowing down, tuning in and working with what I have. A mindset that says “I have to do the work” and yet “I have nothing to prove”. Less striving, berating and guilt. More awareness, patience and acceptance.

Happy New Year.


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