So, day 2 of my 60-day challenge was exactly that – challenging. Yesterday was pretty easy in comparison. I’d gone to my usual Sunday morning class at The Life Centre in Kensington. The class itself was quite intense – lots of utkatasana (chair pose), so I was definitely feeling some burning in the thighs! But actually getting myself to do the yoga was easier, as I had a set time and it was also a morning session. I’m definitely someone who works best with clear deadlines.
I work freelance, so my weekly schedule varies a lot, and I had today off work. I find that even if I get up early, I can easily waste a lot of time and get very little achieved. Today was one of those days. Before I knew it, it was time to head into town to meet my friend for lunch and I hadn’t done any yoga, but I figured I’d have plenty of time afterwards. However, when I got home I had a headache and just generally didn’t feel that well. I took some aspirin, had a lie-down, and when that didn’t work I went to my default feel-better technique of eating. Except I wasn’t actually hungry and of course the food didn’t actually make my headache any better at all.
This all resulted in me really not feeling like doing any yoga, and if it wasn’t for that silly little post that I put up last night, proclaiming that this 60-day challenging was starting then and there, there was no way I would have done any. But I felt it would have been so pathetic to fail on my second day that I forced myself, at 8.00pm, to do a class at home on yogaglo.com. I chose Christina Sell’s ‘Goodnight Sweetheart,’ class, which is a great hour-long evening class that I had done once before. It’s not a class that builds a lot of heat, but there’s a lot of great hip openers and you repeat each pose so you can go a bit deeper the second time. Christina also has some really great techniques to get you into a pose, and it was through her instruction that I managed to do agnistambhasana (fire log pose) properly for the first time.
Anyway, about 10 minutes into the class, I already felt so much better than I had for most of the afternoon and evening. My headache went and I was left feeling both calm and rested, but also more energised than I had for most of the day. I was able to stay up and do the really important things in life, like watch Made In Chelsea, instead of going to bed at 9.00pm hoping that sleep would cure my headache. So it’s only the second day in and I’ve already realised that showing some commitment to this little project can make me feel a whole lot better.
So, basically the shortest post ever, but I just wanted to write this so there’s concrete evidence that I’m committing to doing yoga every day for the next 60 days. According to Google, 60 days takes me to 19th July. The only thing I’m mildly apprehensive about (other than, of course, my ability to actually do this) is that I’m going to Budapest for 3 days in June. But I’m sure I can manage to bust out some sun salutations in the park. I’m also going to allow myself to take a leaf from Bikram yoga 30- or 60-day challenges, where if you miss a day, then you can double-up on sessions the next day.
Summer finally seems to have arrived in London. Yesterday when I left work, it was so hot and such a beautiful afternoon, I decided to walk home through Hyde Park after catching the train to Victoria Station. As I was walking through the park, I was really starting to overheat, lugging my heavy laptop bag in the sun. I decided to take off my shoes and walk barefoot through the park. I realised when I did that, it was the first time in a long time that I could really remember walking around barefoot in the grass. The last time I can remember doing it for any length of time was when I did a yoga class in Regents Park, as the lock on the studio was broken and we couldn’t get inside. But even then, that was more staying in the confines of one small area.
It’s amazing to me how sometimes little things like this can be so revealing about our nature. While there was a nice sense of freedom I felt wandering around in the grass, I noticed myself looking at the ground constantly to make sure I wouldn’t step on any bees, as there were a few of them about, instead of trusting that they were instinctive creatures and would not want to get stepped on. As I was walking and looking at the ground I noticed more ‘hazards’, like the odd prickle for instance. I noticed that I was hyperaware of these possible risks and was focusing intently on looking out for them, rather than actually just accepting the ‘risk’ (I could get a prickle in my foot or stung by a bee) and moving on and trusting that if it eventuated, it would not be the end of the world. When I finally realised this and looked up, I saw the most amazing view of the sunlight streaming across the pond, with the view stretching to Kensington Palace and beautiful church spires reaching up into the blue sky.
It was a small moment in my dad and they were insignificant risks, but it made me wonder how much else I might be missing out on and might not be seeing in my life because I’m too focused on the risks and what could go wrong. I went to a yoga workshop recently about developing a home practice, and the teacher said it was useful to have an idea or intention to meditate on or to form the basis of your practice, which can change from month to month. I think my intention for the coming month is to practice letting go. While I can acknowledge the risks in life, I don’t need to focus on them. I’m hoping this month I can let go of some of my fears and experience more freedom in all I do, and really open my eyes to the beauty and positivity around me.