I lost myself a bit over the last weeks, well even months. Under the flag of „common, let’s enjoy life“, I finally lost the connection to myself, which was so hard to build up. The good news, I know what I have to do. The difficult thing is, not to get distracted. But just do it.
My theme is all about ahimsa. This is one of the yamas (ethical precepts), part of the yoga sutras. Ahimsa translates into non violence — violence in all aspects, physical and also mental violence, such as words or thoughts.
How you treat others and yourself, what you say and think of others and yourself. This is where everything has to start, within ourselves. Be kind to the people around you. Be kind to yourself.
Non harming is the basis of every practice and it all boils down to the relationship with yourself. Repeat this: it’s about the relationship with yourself.
On the mat, it means to be kind to your body. To not push yourself into postures that you are not ready for, as you may cause injury.
Off the mat it’s about speech, food, clothing, how you treat others, the environment, yourself. Living healthy. You decide.
I decided to get back on track, back to a life of practicing ahimsa. Particularly when it comes to myself. And you know what? I know it will feel amazing, even if it needs discipline to get back.
I’m in, how about you?
Have you established a home practice yet? No? Let me tell you why this is a great idea and what helps to set it up. It’s so much more than just move and stretch your muscles! Commitment to a home practice – ideally 6 days a week (I know…!) is a commitment to self-discipline and part of a transformation into a healthy body and mind. It will be the start of something great, it will change you. And yes, the difficult part is showing up on the mat. The easy part is, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing and how long, as long as you’re practicing. Even this will change over time!
First things first – why it’s so damn good for you
- You will develop a personal discipline, which won’t stop at your mat, but support you in all parts of your life
- You will create a healthy habit, which might make you more aware of health in general
- It will allow you to tune and play your own instrument: the body
- It will soothe your soul, feed your spirit and make you a more efficient practitioner in the world
- You will learn and appreciate to be alone
Bring it on – how you will succeed
- Set a fix time that suits your daily schedule. Even if morning first thing is most efficient and recommended, it has to fit into your life so you can stick to it. Of course it can be different during the week and on the weekends! Whatever works for you.
- Create an inspiring surrounding – if you have a spare room, decorate it to feel good there. If not, no problem at all, make it nice wherever you enroll your mat. Maybe a nice view out, you might want to light a candle, turn music on, diffuse essential oils, whatever it is that makes it inspiring for you, will make it easier.
- Be committed to show up, no matter how long. Start easy. Define how many times a week and go from there. Even if everything inside tells you no no no, not today! Roll out your mat and practice.
- There might be days you just sit down to breathe for 5 minutes. Alternatively, a 10 minutes meditation, maybe a 60 minutes asana practice. That’s great, job done.
Take it easy, but stick to your commitment! It is a huge step, but so worth it…. Go for it yogi! Remember, you don’t have to start at 100%, a step by step approach will help to slowly get used to it. Whenever you don’t manage to stick to your commitment, notice how this feels. Laugh and call it a day, you’re not supposed to be wonderwoman or superman 🙂
Discipline. Persistence. Trust. Faith. Practice. 6 days a week. It works.
Our bodies are very different – what’s easy for you might be impossible for someone else. Or the other way around. Age is another barrier, as it’s much harder to gain strength, overcome stiffness and convince our bodies of new options. Plus all of a sudden, there’s fear. The older we get, the more.
So it’s not just the body. The mind has to support a lot. No room for evil thoughts, but a can do approach. No limits. It just takes its time.
Headstand is quite easy for a lot of people. Some need a bit more practice. It took me about 8 months to be able to do free headstand, without the wall or any other support. Progress in baby steps. And finally, I was there. Tears were running over my face. I did it. It felt so easy…
Never give up. Do what you want to do. Even if it takes ages. It’s so worth it!