Yesterday, after a long break, I started practicing Yoga again. My love for yoga was ignited by Adriene Mischler aka Yoga With Adriene. I really found a love for Yoga through Adriene’s videos and started exploring different yoga studios in my vicinity as a result. I loved it.
What I’ve noticed in my general day to day life, and it’s something that I’d really love to get around to addressing, is a lack of discipline. I seem to bore easily, or lose interest in things, and just give up. I love yoga, I love how it makes me feel, but I just gave it up despite the fact that I know that it’s something that I enjoy and get many benefits from.
Yoga, for me, isn’t the easiest of tasks. Most people look at yoga as an easy or soft exercise and it really can be quite tough on your body. I for one, sweat like a pig each time, unless I’m doing a restorative class/session. Attractive, I know! However, I always leave the mat feeling mentally and physically amazing.
When I do yoga, I focus. I focus on letting go of stress and I focus on myself. Every time I come to the mat, it’s like exercise and meditation combined, and I find myself dealing with one emotion or another. Today, for example, I grappled with the fact that I’m not taking the best care of myself. I’m not doing all of the things that I know help my mental health. I am a very strong advocate for mental health and believe that we all need to mind our mental health just the same way as we do our physical health, but I realised today that I’ve been letting that slip. I haven’t been walking, meditating, or journaling the past week or so – partly because we were away on our trip, but partly because I just wasn’t bothered to. It makes a huge difference to me when I do these things. Yoga should also be on that list. I leave each session feeling rested, energized, and a much happier and calmer person.
As I’ve said before, yoga can be tough. It’s not the soft sport people assume it is. The best way to describe the physicality of yoga, for me anyway, is this: it’s a workout that feels tough at the time, but like you went for a massage afterwards. The focus on stretching and building of strength in the muscles is empowering; it’s not long before you notice the effects of your practice. It creates strength, tones you, and just generally makes you aware of the actual energy in your body. It’s great for remaining agile and flexible, and for physical self-care in general.
Why am I writing about yoga you might ask? Today’s session was focused on intention.
I set the intention to be more mindful and to be happier. But it also made me consider my intentions in my life off the mat. Following today’s practice and on-the-mat-revelation I’ve decided that I need to put myself first for a while and get back to doing the things that make me feel better in general. Life is too short to be consumed by anxiety, to neglect our self-care practice. Life is to be lived and embraced, and at the end of the day, the only person who will take care of you is yourself.
I ask you to consider your intentions in your day-to-day life. After reading this, I would love to know what your conscious intentions are.
What are your intentions, and how do you plan to implement them?