MAGICTOBER has started, my friends!!! I am going to share bits and pieces of my personal yoga practice, a gentle kick into my own behind to staying commited and MOVING EVERY DAY!!! Let me inspire you to tap into your home practice - starting with 5 minutes a day.
Don't worry: Being a yogi doesn't mean that we have to double salto into handstand every single morning. It's fun, when you get there (at least I imagine so, because I am certainly not 'there', ehem, yet), however, it's obsiously not what you need to start with. At the beginning of each yoga practice is the sweet and loving checking in with yourself: What is going on today, how am I feeling right now, what is my body longing for? That's pretty much all it needs to be a yogi, really. Breathing, feeling and moving where your body guides you to. I promise, doing this for only 5 minutes a day can change your life.
How to create a daily home practice in the midst of a busy life...
I am not gonna lie to you. I am probably the worst to give advice on creating routines because for some reason I feel a resistance against them. As soon as I feel I HAVE TO DO something I almost very certainly don't want to do it. That's why for a long time I even tried to get around making appointments in my personal time, because how should I even know on a Monday if I feel like going out on a Saturday, for example? At the same time, I of course enjoy meeting friends, it's getting kinda lonely if you never commit to seeing each other, right? The same exact thing goes for meeting yourself: We dis-connect from ourself, when we never pay attention to what's going on inside.
Yoga, dance or any kind of moving mindfully are very immediate and fun ways to connect to our body. To give a break to our over-thinking mind. Connecting to our physical senses is a opening up a way to our internal sense: What we call intuition, inner wisdom, inner truth.
Okay, but how to overcome, what in German we call the inner "Schweinehund" (pig-dog) which is a common expression for that lazy and all-to-comfy ego, dragging us onto the couch instead of the mat?
... give yourself permission to spending timewith yourself
I am using a few little tricks to get around the resistance of my mind against MAKING MYSELF HAPPY. It's a change of perspective, which by itself is already yoga, right? "We don't come to yoga to stay the same", my teacher Dana Trixie Flynn likes to say. So, instead of approaching the practice as something I HAVE TO perform, I give myself the permission to spending time with myself.
1. ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE WHO YOU ARE NOW: YOUR ARE AMAZING WITH OR WITHOUT THE YOGA PRACTICE
So, first of all I surrender to the fact that right now, at this point in my life, I am not one of these super duper disciplined yogis that very naturally get up early in the morning to do their beautiful ayurvedic self care routine with oil pulling and oil massage and the lemon water even before they step on the mat for their asana, pranayama and meditation practice. Mmmmh, actually it all sounds like a dream beginning of a day, why am I actually NOT doing it...? Good question, best answer I got: I am not there yet. That's it. We gotta start from where we are. Accepting who we are and forgiving ourselves for not being perfect is the first step to change.
2. ALLOW YOURSELF TO LOOK AT THE PRACTICE AS A WELL-DESERVED TREAT
So, instead of making my practice another "terrible task" on the to do list, staring at me with blame: 'You haven't checked me off yet. I am still here, still waiting...' - I am allowing myself to take the time and meet myself on the mat, doesn't that immediately change the feeling? And it is true: These moments of feeling close to ourself, honest and raw, are precious gems in a the midst of daily life. Upon writing this I almost feel like stopping and getting another dose of yummie, sweet movement medicine for myself right now! When we make the practice a treat to look forward to, we will feel drawn to return to the mat as often as we can. So that discipline will not be something that is being pressed upon us from the outside but that is becoming an urge from the inside.
3. ALLOW YOURSELF TO DO WHAT YOU FEEL LIKE
The other trick is to really move like you. Meaning: Letting go of any ideas what a practice has to look like, to start with. Maybe it's only breathing into childspose? If the practice is a rendez-vous with myself, well, then I get to say how far I wanna go, each time again, right? Again, it is about giving yourself the permission to make yourself happy. Without force, without expectations: Use the movement to FEEL what you NEED, right NOW. When we step onto the mat, sometimes the magic unfolds immediately, simply by sitting down and exhaling with a big gorgeous siiiiiiigh. Sometimes it needs the movement to get the sparkles flowing and flying... - at home you get to decide for yourself! And then, the yoga does what it always does: Feeling oh so damn good. You will want more of it, I promise.
4. ALLOW YOURSELF TO KEEP THE PRACTICE AS SHORT AS 5 MINUTES
Very very succesful trick: If I feel like I don't have the time nor the patience to meet myself on the mat, that's when I usually need it the most. So I convince myself to do it anyway - but for only 5 minutes! Come on, you always have 5 minutes! A childspose. A Down Dog. A Savasana. Done. Or turn up the music and go dancing like crazy - after 5 minutes, you for sure will be done. :-) You might experience what happens to me very often: If I give myself permission for a short practice, I NEVER regret, and ALWAYS feel better. Often enough I get hooked and the 5 minutes turn into more...
4. ALLOW YOURSELF TO SKIP THE PRACTICE!!!
Maybe the most important tip: Don't always resist the resistance! Don't always be disciplined. Be lazy, just please, WITH JOY. Take that well deserved break from everything and do nothing or everything else or whatever, and enjoy yourself! The practice is always there for you and sooner or later your body will call for movement, trust your impulses and take a break, if you feel like it. Your whole system will be so grateful that soon you will be energized and ready to "pull out trees", as we say in German: Genug Energie um Bäume auszureißen.