I sincerely hope 2021 has been treating you ok so far. I can sense the ups and downs in everyone’s energy. We are an energetic species and we are sensitive to each other, especially during this unique time in our history.
It's a real paradox. Many of us have previously craved for more time to rest, to sleep, to spend time alone, to spend time with loved ones, to be at home more and to slow down. These wishes have been more or less granted but in such a high dose. So instead of embracing this unique opportunity to enjoy these things we wished for, we feel suffocated and stressed about not being able to do what we want to do. This illustrates how we always look for more and how we tend to focus on what we don’t have. It is also possible that humans thrive most when we have a little bit of everything, not a lot of one thing, to be more balanced.
Yoga practice and mental state
My practice has been all about my mental state. I don't see self practice as an exercise, it's so much more than that. It starts from having to make the effort to get up and be on my mat with purpose. This can be the single most difficult thing to do on some days. I see this as tapas - the third of Patanjali Yoga Sutras' Niyamas. It means, heat, discipline and burning enthusiasm. I get up to practice for "me", to heal and help myself.
Without my practice, I won’t know how to get through my day, how I will react and how I will behave when I experience waves of big emotions. So here is a list of what my practice really means to me. I wrote these thoughts this week, bit by bit during my practice, with a pen and a notepad next to my mat. I only jotted down when my ideas were strong, real and authentic.
Through this process, I listen to my internal dialogue. Some thoughts are trivial and silly, and some are definitely old and from childhood. Whatever they are, they have roots. My practice shows the roots of all my thoughts. From seeing them head on, calmly, honestly, without resistance, and with an open mind, an open heart and with breath, I can make peace with myself. The effect of practice doesn't last forever unfortunately. The day ends, so do the effects of practice. Sleep processes and neutralises, then the new day begins with more thoughts roaming around our mind until doing some yoga settles citta vritti (constant mind chatter). Over time, we get better at managing these thoughts and there will be less thoughts on the whole.
What yoga means to me
The quotes on the image are my genuine thoughts. I hope they can be a little help to boost your practice and to know that you aren't alone in this.
So let's simply get on our mat, on our meditation cushion and restorative props to give some time to breathe and find stillness somewhere within us.