Trying and failing yoga

If I think back to my 2017 resolutions, one of my biggest aspirations for the year was to maintain a solid practice of yoga.
The end of 2016 saw me going back to University and making bends and stretches personally, so I made the bends and stretches of my body a higher priority too.
I tried and failed maintaining a morning yoga practice because I was focusing on 30minute practices when I should have just been focusing on a quick 5minute stretch, less is more afterall.
The biggest difference this time in my goal was that I had no real image in my head of how I should be, what I should be doing or any destination goal. I was kind to myself in wanting to start my mornings slow in both mind, body and soul. I decided to not judge my body on how inflexible it was or how far I was from touching my foot on the ground in downward dog.
I attribute my new attitude and love towards yoga to having this mindset at the very beginning. I am not a qualified professional or an expert yogi but I feel in tune with my body and the energy that flows through it each day because of my small practice.
In my continued practice I started to notice how I truly felt, the stressful triggers that would set me off, the emotions I was caring from the day, week, year before and having to face them each day, look them in the eye and say, ‘hey yeah I see you, are you still here?’
I hold A LOT of tension in my shoulders and neck, I always have. I noticed this fatigue in my limbs from pockets of anxiety and lack of movement. My muscles ached and with each practice they ached more but I had to keep moving past the ache and the little voice telling me to stop, to give up.

Getting clear on my intentions
I accidentally always overwhelm myself. I have the greatest intentions to be a creative with lots of free time and flexibility where I am doing something I love everyday. But I think this is common with everyone where we picture this HUGE goal and our inspiration and motivation slowly dwindle away. I have fallen into the trap of wanting to get into a hobby or pursue something just because I believe the lifestyle is ‘cool’ and aesthetically pleasing rather than the actual work and benefits that will come with said hobby.

It’s why I wanted to have a clear and non-judgemental mindset going into thi and setting a realistic intention for my journey and practice. By focusing on feeling connected to my body and in turn, mind, I was much more stable in my approach and found it a lot easier to commit to a daily practice.
Do some research and take some classes
The internet has given us the ability to access any information we want at any time.  Sometimes classes can make you feel intimidated and you can’t help but  compare your yoga journey with those around you.  There are some great yoga flows on YouTube to watch and they are free! One of my favourites is Yoga With Adriene and the best part is you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own home. I have been trying to balance a minimalistic relationship with social media at the moment so my recommendation of staying away from the noise of your feed might be a little cyncial but I do believe that when it’s you time it should be just you time.
 
Acceptance
One of the hardest thought patterns in life is getting to a place of contentment and acceptance. I don’t know if we ever can as human beings, is there ever a moment where we just stop and think, “yeah this is it, no further, I’m going to stay right here.”
No matter what we always seem to want more and to create new goals and aspirations to achieve, new dreams to follow. The hardest part of my yoga journey was accepting that I just couldn’t do some of the poses yet, I wasn’t strong enough to hold positions for long periods of time and I lacked the flexibility to be comfortable for the time required for the stretch. It’s so hard to enjoy the process when you’re angry and frustrated with yourself and I found it a very large mental block stopping me from going any further.
 
You already have the knowledge inside you.
I read a book called “healing through yoga: ancient wisdom” and in one chapter it talked about our bodies already knowing the way, already having all these pathways of infinite results tucked away inside of it ready to be unlocked when the time is right.  I recall having the most intense muscle aches on my shoulders and neck because I never moved my body enough and within a week of practice I noticed it start to feel a little better and my posture was improving, no more hunching over for this tall girl!
I practice yoga as a physical and mental state, mentally I use it as a meditation flow and when I sit still at the end I get awful twitches, I get the impulse to move..  My brain screaming at me CMON WHAT ARE YOU DOING!
And I have to continuously calm myself down and focus my breathing. I don’t think that will ever stop, your mind is never a blank canvas. But there have certainly been some sessions where at the end I have felt so intensely aware of myself and the moment that it feels foreign. Like I am an alien creature trapped inside the skin and bone of my body, a soul looking outward completely aware of the fragility of each moment and life.
But when you feel that magic nothing else matters.
Haley

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