What did you do with your locked-down morning today?
You know… that part that was your own, where you got to choose? Before the demands of others barged in.
Do you have a systematic plan? Or do you leave it to chance.
Do you choose to mindlessly flick through your phone, or do you choose to get up and mindfully move?
Maybe you think it’s hard to change your habits? You’ve tried before, it failed. It’s impossible! You tell yourself this often enough. Guess what! You’ll be right.
But just maybe you could think differently?
Maybe consider that your brain and your body are actually wired for change.
Think about it. Without realising we are assessing our environment for danger, safety. To go ahead, hold back. We’re choosing and changing all the time and adapting constantly.
So, ‘bad news’, that excuse of ‘I can’t change’ doesn’t wash! But also ‘good news’, because that ‘I can’t change’ excuse, doesn’t wash!
I say be ecstatic about that. Be ecstatic that you can change. Because now you just have to take some control back.
Before we go into the how, something else you could maybe think differently about is what yoga is and what a yoga practice that’s rooted in a 5,000 years old tradition, can offer you.
I’ve discovered that yoga is a practice that supports change and transformation. It’s a practice that moves you, soul driven, towards your most natural, best state or ‘Self’.
How? Through dedicated practice or (in yoga speak) Sadhana.
What’s that? Well a more contemporary sadhana is generally asana (yoga postures), pranayama (breath work), meditation, reading, reflection spiritual study. But you could start with anything that comes under a Self-care umbrella and just think of it as taking care of yourself.
It’s the repetition of sadhana that’s key here. We create the habit of coming back to something (our Self) again and again, and that works whether you’re trying to change a habit of move into an ‘enlightened’ state.
Something I want to recognise is how National Lockdown might be getting in the way of having a dedicated practice and therefore your commitment to take care of your Self.
Carving time out when there are so many distractions at home might seem impossible. There’s your phone, family, housework, work-work, emails, the next NetFlix series, TikTok, Insta, Facebook, the fridge!
It takes way more discipline to practice yoga at home or online too. There are the interruptions, noise, texts, kids.
You can’t physically get away to the studio, so you’ll need to summon up even more willpower to do what it takes to slow down enough to experience your Self aka (ask how you are and what you need to rebalance, restore, or grow).
What you need is a plan!
Creating a plan that combines self-study and meaning to take care of your inner self and then carrying out that plan in a systematic way is called Kriya Yoga.
With this kind of yoga you start from wherever you are , and make one small step at a time, whether your mind is focused or distracted, towards your goal. You assess your current ability to be present and work with that. By simply paying attention we become aware of what is serving us (habits, actions, thoughts, feelings, emotions) and what isn’t and use that to bring us closer to who, or what or how we want to be, think, feel, or show up in the world.
That’s what a Yoga practice is and what it can offer. (Who knew?)
So now you know, ask yourself; what would having a dedicated practice mean for you? Who would you be if you kept and committed to the promises you made to yourself every day, not just New Years’?
Through January myself and the teaching team here at the Yoga Local Studio will be supporting and guiding you through these idea and concepts and in particular helping us all find the discipline and dedicated practices that will help us all #takecare of our Selves throughout 2021.
If you want to join us, sign up and make the commitment to start from wherever you are, and make those small steps, one at a time, to reach the goal you seek. And, just to be clear, it doesn’t have to be a spiritual goal, although at some point you’ll recognise whatever it is you seek, is what your Soul seeks too!
It is, after all, only natural. 😉
Ways to join us.
3. Check out our next returners,’ or beginners’ online class Begin | Again.
I’ve also created a workbook that uses many yoga concepts and practices to help us find health and wellbeing during lockdown.
You can sign up and begin your Week 1 plan here.
It’s totally FREE for all four weeks, with no commitment to joining us in an actual yoga class (although you’d be most welcome!).
All in your own time… start from where you are and build from that!