There is no denying that the end of the year, with all its festivities, is approaching.
Calendars are filling up fast and people are getting indulgent. Yoga students can appear a little guilty around their teachers. Not making classes, drinking lots, staying up late and doing all the things they assume yogis should not do.
And yoga teachers are starting to hear things like, “I’ll get back to yoga in the new year” and “I may not see you next week as I have a lot going on.” Or “If only I had the time for yoga.”
That last one reminds me of a saying I heard a few years back and still share often:
“Meditate daily for 10 minutes. If you don’t have 10 minutes then meditate for an hour.”
It’s important to be aware of the barriers we place between us and our yoga. Yes, you may not have time to attend yoga class, but yoga isn’t just a thing that exists when you walk into a studio and get on the mat. It’s now. It’s here.
Your teacher is a guide, but your yoga is not dependent on their proximity. Yoga is always in your vicinity.
When I was in year nine, we studied Home Economics. In our first class the teacher asked “what is a diet?” We all started calling out different dieting fads until she finally, and impatiently, cut us off with her response: “Your diet is whatever you eat.” It seemed profound to a bunch of 14-year-olds whose definition of “diet” had been hijacked by the weight-loss industry.
Just like you don’t have to be “on a diet” to be aware of what you’re consuming, you don’t need to be on a yoga mat to be aware of yourself.
Whatever you do either benefits or inhibits you. Consciously reflecting on this is yoga.
Did it make you feel calm, clear and vibrant? Yes. Then do more of that.
Did it make you feel tired and sluggish? Yes. Then do less of that.
Really, there are no “should nots” in yoga. Do yoga. Live your life. Remove the guilt this festive season and instead consciously choose what you choose and reflect on whether it makes you happy.
And the more you do your practice, the more the things that don’t suit you will fall away with no need of a dose of shoulds.
This way, yoga need not take a backseat till the new year.
Author: Michelle Barnett
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Image: Ada Juristovski/Flickr