Hate yoga? That’s OK…but love yourself!
Today’s blog is a personal admittance as a yoga teacher of something I came to realise 10 minutes ago whilst finishing my morning yoga practice.
But before I begin, what thought or judgement just came into your mind as your read that last phrase? ‘Morning yoga practice’? Judgement about me and my having a morning yoga practice? Judgement about yourself ? Hold onto those for a moment…
Do You Hate Yoga?
I’ve only been capable of doing a yoga practice, other than my ground based yin for over a year. I still find it a struggle to stand for long periods of time or walk distances, due to the pressure it puts on my bladder and pelvic area – no downward dogs or abdominal stretches were possible for over 18 months. I’ve gradually built up my practice so that I’m attempting (note the ‘attempting’) 30 mins a day.
And here’s the thing… I’ve not enjoyed it…in fact I’ve hated even the thought it...that’s right…a yoga teacher who’s not enjoying yoga…..I’ve been fighting with myself every day to even get my mat out, to summon up the energy to even start moving. On many occasions found myself going to pick up my phone to look at something or write a note down mid-way! Not very yogic eh!?
So why after all this time of wanting to feel better in my body and knowing my yoga will support its healing, am I being so resistant?
What I discovered…
Today as I lay in savasana ( my favourite bit right now:)) I found out why.
I suddenly found myself tearful…WTF? Where did that come from? I kept still and took some breaths and waited to see what came into my head…and this is what I discovered:
- I’m pissed off I was ill for so long
- I’m frustrated by having ‘ lost’ 2 years of my life
- I’m angry with my body for being weak and getting old
- I’m frustrated that I don’t have the stamina to do more than 30 mins and the thought of going to a full hour yoga class and having to give up half way thorough makes me feel embarrassed and a failure
- I’m a yoga teacher and therefore should be full of energy and fit and capable of doing a yoga class
- Other yoga teachers are better than me ….
And it went on…
No wonder I couldn’t engage with my practice – I was still feeling so much underlying anger and frustration with my body. I thought that as my health was improving , I could just pick up and continue as before …focusing on achieving, just getting things done that were far more important than taking care of my body.
So what did I do to stop these horrid thoughts?
Thankfully I’ve been studying mindfulness and self-compassion which are amazing tools to get you through tough, self-deprecating moments like this. Loving yourself is the number one habit to learn.
I gave myself a hug and told myself it was perfectly fine to feel like this. I’d been through a hellish time so what human wouldn’t be unhappy about it! But I was doing the best I could right now to get healthier. It will take time and that’s OK…
The words of my inspiring yoga mentor Norman Blair came into my head,
Part of the process of teaching yoga is looking after ourselves….. If we are talking about self-care and sustainability, then we have to live by those words.
So what are you doing to support your self-care? What do you do to show your body you love and appreciate it? After all if it didn’t exist, neither would you!
And finally, what were your thoughts when I said I was ‘just finishing my morning yoga practice’? Do you see me in a different way now? Did you catch a harsh thought aimed at yourself? If you did, give yourself a hug and tell it to bugger off…you’re doing just fine…:)
PS. Do let me know what your thoughts or judgments were. I’d be interested to know!
Photo thanks to tpsdave