By Amy Leonard-King
As I find myself in this new life called motherhood, it shows up my previous lives of corporate work + solopreneur-ing in terms of what ‘busy’ looks like. I have thus been contemplating that a lot of talk around Yoga is about how great it is (don’t worry, I’m not countering that!), and not so much on how hard it is.
I will suggest that it is rare to find someone who found Yoga, and fell into an immediate daily practice with no ups and downs, or on-and-off relationship with their Yoga mat. If that’s you then I dare say you are one of the lucky few! For most of us there are at least some periods of on-again, off-again, that disrupt the practice that is eventually meant not only to be a daily commitment, but at it’s best - a living practice.
So if you’re like me and every time you manage to make it to the mat to complete a full practice you feel the sublime effects + benefits in every cell of your being, you then ask yourself the question: ‘Why was it so hard to make myself do this?’
Because life. The pace of life these days is crippling. You hear it everywhere, and it’s a side-effect of these times of rapid technological advancement. We (human-kind) have created it, but we’re not yet quite ready for it. We don’t have the full tool-kit of how to manage the stressors we have created (mobile technology, instant messaging, social media) and we find ourselves almost unknowingly addicted to it. I’m not the only one who has scrolled the day away am I?
So for most of us, we need something to reconnect us back to ourselves, to our true purpose amongst the busy-ness of life, something to help us to slow down. So, back to Yoga. This practice of connecting inwards, moving our bodies, noticing our breath + watching the workings of our minds, needs to be a dedicated practice for as long as it takes to then choose to do it daily. From there it may begin to develop into more of a living practice, feeling into each moment, thought, word + action as it arises with the same consciousness that we cultivate on our yoga mats.
So how do we get to that place? Some of us may have already experienced it: a moment of stress melting away with a reminder to breathe into our hearts and slow down before reacting or erupting, or perhaps it is being more conscious of the choices we make around what we eat, choosing a vegetarian or vegan diet that causes less harm to the planet and other living beings. Sometimes however, we still find ourselves falling off the horse, feeling overwhelmed with our own pressures, over-worked and under-rested + perhaps less connected to why we are doing what we are doing with our time.
“The real payoff of a yoga practice, I came to see, is not a perfect handstand or a deeper forward bend—it is the newly born self that each day steps off the yoga mat and back into life.” ~ Rolf Gates
For me my time on the Yoga mat is a practice of remembering. Of clearing away the cobwebs and fog from the more mundane of my day-to-day, and remembering to connect back to that place inside of myself that is pure peace and joy, something that although is with me at all times, every day gets clouded over by to-do lists, interactions with others, many hours caring for my gorgeous baby boy, and so I need the reminder. If I have a super busy day where time has not been my own, I have made it my challenge to at the very least sit in meditation before going to bed as a final offering. This daily practice has changed my life. There is always time.
“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” – Zen Proverb
The Challenge is real, and the path of Yoga is not for the faint-hearted. It requires discipline + courage to get back on the mat. The more time spent away from it, the harder it is. So if we make it a daily practice then we have a commitment we can mentally keep track of, and it aligns spiritually with the newness that we wake up to each morning after our night’s rest.
We are all incredibly busy, but if we continue to busy ourselves with everything around us, and not spend precious time refueling ourselves through a re-connection with what our heart’s deepest longing, then what will be the point of it all?
So it’s for this very reason that we hope you will join us for our Sunrise Yoga Challenge this coming October for a chance to find a daily practice of your own. I was never a morning person until I found the Yoga practice and how profound it could be to set myself in motion for the day with clarity, connection + true purpose. Join us for the full 12 days of consistent morning practice from Monday the 8th of October, or for a weekday challenge of 2 weeks Monday – Friday to kick-start your daily practice, and a step further intothis life-long relationship with your Yoga practice.