Yoga – My Journey | Getting Back On The Mat


Yoga – My Journey | Getting Back on The Mat

by Paul Warner

NO. There, I said it. A simple word and one that means no further action on my part, the ‘easy out’. As we all did, yoga stopped for me in December for the Christmas break, this was near fatal to my regime. Up until then, I had worked my way up to three classes a week, I was able to rise to a Rise and Anchor was the grounding I craved at the end of my Friday.

Everything in my yoga garden was rosy… or so I thought.

Christmas came and the studio took a much needed break and I followed suit. In the words of Vivian in Pretty Woman, this was a ‘big mistake, HUGE’.

January arrived, a new timetable and I found myself using it as an excuse to skip the odd class, the shop I own needed some TLC, the courtyard that I manage had lots going on, I found myself using the word ’no’ to class invitations because it was easier to do that than get my sorry arse in gear and be the disciplined person rocking up last year. I then got that cold bug thing that was going around, weird because I never fall ill and if I do, it is normally only for a day or two. I was wiped out for over two weeks. Being a stubborn arse, I tried a session last week and 30 mins in, my chest completely tightened, leaving me short of breath and feeling like a right numpty for having to peg it back.

The words came, as if I had rubbed a magic lamp, Josie’s now all too familiar tone was reminding the group to take rest periods if we needed them, it was ‘my practice’. I felt less of a failure but was now cross that I hadn’t got straight back on the mat in January. I was now suffering from the fact I was less conditioned and my body was fighting this virus so my strength was sapped.

I even made noises to Josie that I should perhaps stop my Yoga… that fell on deaf ears. In fact, that was met with a volley of kind abuse. Reminding me that yoga was EXACTLY what my body needed right now and I should be using my experience to know when to push and when to peg it back. Reminding me that yoga is a whole body experience, including my mind and just something as simple as practicing my breathing techniques was better than doing nothing at all.

So here is the thing, why do we say ‘no’ – is it an automatic reaction because we think of it as safe harbour, or is it because we don’t want to think through the implications of yes, or is it just a lazy cop out? You see ‘yes’ is also just a one syllable word, and just as quick to say (no,stop trying it, just trust me). Yes is also a much more positive reply, this sets the body and mind up in anticipation, you stand just a little taller maybe, your pulse quickens and you are primed to go… or that is the theory.

Yet despite all the positives of saying ‘yes, that mat space tomorrow is mine’ we let the odd ’no’ slip out… then it all goes tits up. You see the word no never turns up on its own, it has travelling buddies, hundreds of the little buggers and before you know it, you now have ’no tourettes’ you find yourself saying no to every week, then you can avoid that awkwardness when you go to the next class with a feeling of having to explain yourself. This is where I needed to trust the reasons why I chose Yoga Local in the first place. You see I went to my first proper class for weeks today and I was NEVER made to feel like that, I was greeted like I was there only yesterday, no questions, no inquisition and certainly no jury ready to hang me. The faces were familiar, the smiles were warm and genuine and I was back in the studio that I love and all it took was one word…

Just say YES.