Happiest of Mondays to you! Sorry to have missed the first one of the year, it kind of snuck up on us. We are back now and excited for the year ahead - 2016 here we come! As part of our #MindfulnessMonday this year we are starting a series that we are calling "My Yoga" where we are asking our fellow yogis to share with us what yoga is about for them. First up, our Mindfulness Matters blogger (that's me!) Erinn Blicher:
My yoga is continually evolving. When I started practicing over 10 years ago (wow) it was all about the physical practice. I wanted yoga arms, I wanted a defined back and a tight core and if it wasn't a hot power flow, I wasn't interested. I wanted to do all the fancy 'tricks' - arm balances, handstands, headstands, splits etc. and was jealous of those around me who were "better" than me. There wasn't a progression I didn't take, even if my body was screaming at me not to, and props were for amateurs.
This practice persisted for years. Recently my yoga has shifted. It has become more about the mental and dare I say, spiritual journey. I think this shift has been just part of my growth. As I have matured, I have been trying to be more mindful and trying to drop the ego. I now take all kinds of yoga classes and try to accept them, enjoy them and internalize them for what they are. I don't always succeed, but I try. As cliche as it may sound, I am trying to respect where I am in each moment of each practice. I try to recognize that while I may have wanted a more active practice, sometimes it's good for you to take it slow and vice versa.
One of the greatest days of my practice was when I was able to get into wheel for the first time. I was not a gymnastically inclined kid (I can barely do a summersault never mind a cartwheel), so this was a big deal. And I think it's important to remember achievements and celebrate them, but also not dwell on the destination. There are poses that my body used to do easily that I just can't go for anymore, and others that used to be inaccessible that have opened up. I accept that I still have to use the wall for a headstand and a handstand and know that there might come a day when I won't have to, and that that will be a day to remember. I accept that I barely have the strength to hold dolphin, never mind pincha and I try not to judge myself for it. Trust me, I still do, but I try to be mindful not to. This doesn't mean that I don't still strive for an advanced physical practice. It just means that I am trying to balance both.
So, my yoga is my own journey of growth and change; it's a balancing act of weakness and strength, triumph and defeat and of course twists and topples. And maybe one day a practice that includes a press to handstand!
We would love to hear and feature your authentic yoga story! Let us know what you have to say.
Namaste everyone, see you next week.
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.