I know right? Who’d have thought? Secretly though, there was a small part of me looking forward to a few weeks loosening the grip on the daily routine, discipline and time consuming practice that takes up hours of my day week in week out. Looking forward to living in what people like to call the ‘real’ world (although I’d debate that…) Carefree. No commitments. Sleep ins. All that ‘normal’ stuff.
I’ve recently returned from a month long holiday to the States with my partner and teenage children. Sure it was great to let go of structure and ‘live’ a little. New York wine bars, tacos a plenty, late nights, early starts, museum queues, subway wrangling…but where was my practice? I’d packed my mat and a few scarce props with the ambitious attitude of at least getting in a few days practice each week. The reality? Little if almost nowhere to be seen… Yes there was the occasional morning when it all got too much and I saluted the sun or expediently Sirsasana / Sarvangasana’d. But the pace of travel and cramped living quarters of this trip barely allowed for it. Yes, I could have made it happen but it would have been at the expense of everyone’s schedule, and in this short-term context, that seemed a bit selfish and not really playing for the team. So…I let it go…
But wow I missed yoga. Sooooooo much. Like air, like food.
How was it? Well…it was interesting. What I can say is I’m very glad I knew it was only a temporary situation. I’m glad I knew that I would be returning to my mat and long luxurious practices before too long. But how did no yoga actually feel?…Well, it felt, foggy. It felt a bit anxious, it felt a bit agitating (true, this could have been the teenage children also….) But overall, it felt, well, not so great. I also got to glimpse the person I might be without regular yoga to keep me open, grounded and less crazy. And it wasn’t all that appealing I have to say. Maybe a bit like L.A. or Sydney – ok place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.
So now I am gloriously happy to be back on my mat. There is a part of me that enjoys the re-acquainting myself with areas of my body that haven’t been accessed for weeks. When you practice every day, the state, the feeling of the mind and body we create as a result, becomes normal. So after having even a couple of weeks break, I feel like everything needs to be “checked in with” again. How does one start to practice again after a break? For me the first thing I did was spend a LOT of time lying over things to re-open my chest and elongate my spine after long flights, cramped quarters and cold weather. Lots of hanging in the ropes too. And then more inversions, supported standing poses on the Trestler…gradually easing my way back in, finding my ‘yoga’ legs… It’s an ongoing process. But already I’m starting to feel my ‘normal’ self again.
I am so glad to be home. On my mat.