I have been practicing yoga regularly for around 3 years now but have really stepped it up a notch this last year. I started because I was doing a lot of distance running and wanted an effective way to build some strength and to stretch out, I always knew there was more to it than just poses and while I enjoyed savasana at the end of class I wasn’t that interested in anything other than fitness. Last summer I decided to take a British Wheel of Yoga foundation course to help me get more out of my classes and it really opened my eyes to the world of yoga and made me realise quite how the different elements are linked!
I finished my course at the beginning of this month having loved every second of it, however, I felt like I’d learnt so much that I didn’t know where to start incorporating it into my every day life and practice. It was fine during the course as I had someone to direct me and give me homework each month but suddenly I found it was up to me!
To be honest I was feeling very overwhelmed by it all, feeling like I was doing everything wrong and had so many elements to a complete yoga practice and techniques I’d learnt, which I should be incorporating into an everyday practice, but felt like it would take years of research before I could even get started! I took the foundation course to progress and it felt like I had gone backwards. Most of my yoga is done in classes and I was finding that whenever I came to do a personal practice at home I would manage a few sun salutations but everything else just felt clumsy. Pranayama without a teacher was impossible to me!
Then I got a bug and couldn’t even go to class!!
While I was lying in bed moping about being ill (yes I know it’s not very yogi) I started looking for something to read to keep me busy. I was about to pick up the first Game of Thrones book, which I’ve been putting off until the end of the current TV series, then I saw ‘Yoga Girl’ by Rachel Brathen who I’ve been following on Instagram for a fairly long time now. I didn’t stop reading until I’d finished!
It suddenly struck me how simple it can be!
I followed her advise and tried 5 minutes breath awareness first thing after getting up in the morning… It was quite seriously unsuccessful. I didn’t give up and the following day I tried a few sun salutations first to connect my breath and felt a lot more focused.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve been going for a few weeks now and I’m still on 5 minutes and I’m yet to be able to focus for the whole time but I do feel like I’m getting somewhere and I know that it’s a skill which needs practising.
I am so pleased to have made a step towards a personal practice, even if it is a baby step! I now realise that actually having an interest in developing my knowledge and experience in yoga is enough for now. I’m not going to drive myself crazy with trying to do what ‘I’m supposed to do’ or try to do everything at once. I’m going to take baby steps and pick up a book because it interests me not because I think it contains my next step!
I plan to continue journaling my my progress on here so I can see how far I get from this point and I would also love to share/swap stories, ideas and knowledge with others.