“Do you do yoga every day?”
This is one of the questions I most often get asked by people when they find out I’m a yoga teacher.
Should I proudly declare ‘hell yeah!’ like the badge of honor that some instagram accounts would have us believe it is?!
The truth is that I may not practice ‘yoga’ every day. In terms of the physical asanas (postures) that most people think of.
In fact, I most definitely don’t!
But what I do try to do is have a daily ‘practice’ of some description. Whether it’s physical yoga asana, a meditation, going for a walk in the woods, letting my body dance and flow to music, writing in my journal, checking in for a few moments to see how I’m feeling that day or just rolling around on the floor next to the fire for a few minutes.
All are valid, all are useful. All help me to settle down into myself. To check in and see how I am, to be with whatever is there and show kindness. To ground and connect to the earth, and feel more like the living, breathing animal that I am, and less like a computer hard-drive whizzing at top speed, locked in a human shaped body.
Yoga started me on this path to re-connection, and being able to come down from living in my head and my thoughts. It has helped me to unravel layers I never knew I had, and given me the tools to notice and release tension, to breathe more freely and respond more positively to life.
But it is not, and never will be THE ONLY WAY! We are such fluid, cyclical beings – that’s the joy of being human! The whole point of yoga is to notice what’s going on for us (in my opinion). If we override that with a dogmatic ‘must-do-downward dog-everyday’ approach then surely we are missing the point?
More useful is to check in with ourselves. How am I feeling? What kindness do I need from myself today?
I remember when I first started trying to practice yoga at home. I got so fed up not knowing what to do. Should I do this posture or that one? But where do I start?! It was so liberating when a friend said ‘just start lying on the floor and feel in to what you might need that day – see where your body takes you’. Aha! So much easier.
So, my friends, go ahead and try it.
And if the answer is ‘I need to get outside and feel the fresh air on my face’ – then out the door you go!
Ps. When I’m hungover / tired / super busy / staying at a friends house I may do approximately zlitch. I am human too