Friday, 30 March 2012

Confessions from a yoga mat...

So I haven't done my yoga practice today - oops! I decided to have a rest day. I think when people practice Ashtanga yoga they can get addicted to it, addicted to the sequence and addicted to the feeling you get in Savasana at the end of a heavy Ashtanga practice and when they don't do it one day they feel this guilt about it. I don’t think there's a need to. Skipping practice is fine, but if you’re serious about maintaining your yoga practice you should try for 4 or 5 times a week.

There are lots of aspects of yoga that don't include any physical asanas at all, meditation (of which I think I like the most, feeling calm and still and learning how to be calm and still really relaxes me), learning to be a better person, loving other people. Ashtanga literally means 8 limbs, so what about them? Surely following the 8 limbs everyday is enough? Of course, the 8 limbs include asana practice, but 7 out of 8 is a good start.

The truth is, no one is a perfect yogi. Getting up at 6 am and 'forcing' or 'guilting' yourself into doing a 2 hour Ashtanga practice is just as un-yogic as not doing any asana practice! The main purpose of the yogic path is to follow your body, listen to what it's telling you. If you’re one of those people who say ‘when I start practicing then I’ll enjoy it’ then do you really want to do it? Or do you feel like you have to? If your body is telling you to get on your mat then ace, get going, practice at home or get to a guided class or Mysore and love every minute of it. But if it's saying 'hey Jules, chill out today, why not eat some houmous?' then you know what? I'm gonna eat the houmous, and I'll enjoy it too.