Stories From Paradise

Getting to the Mat

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Some days you just don’t feel like doing anything, including practicing yoga. But these days, if you get yourself to the mat, your practice will make you stronger and wiser and more in tune with yourself than ever. Sure, modify your practice if you are feeling low, take it a little bit slower, make it a little bit shorter. Be a little kinder to yourself. Incorporate more breathing exercises like alternate nostril (nadi shodhana) and breath of fire into the practice. Find a restorative class or at least incorporate a few restorative poses in the beginning or the end. But give your self the gift of a practice even when you feel lazy or low.

Because the days you just don’t feel like getting to the mat are the best days to get there. Like today, I laid in bed, listening to the rain and asked myself, “would it be so bad if I just laid here all day long”. And yes, perhaps I need a day off, but not a day off the mat. Just bringing my body to the mat was an effort. But I started, first just checking the breath. I continued, starting to move. With each inhale I felt more open, more capable. With each twist I felt more energy running through my body. Every slow forward fold brought joy to my spine and hips and the back of my legs and then to my very being. My vrkasana or tree sent beautiful long roots into the earth and drew energy from there to my fingertips, interlaced above my head.

When I finished, I was energized. I felt positive, happy, peaceful, and grateful that I had brought myself onto my mat, into my power. Try it. On a day you think you don’t have the time or the energy, dig deep. Find a moment, find the motivation and bring yourself to your mat. Once you get there, the world is your oyster. You have overcome the inertia that can leave you inhibited and you reinforce the fact that your practice is your resting place. It is your place to find energy, to rediscover and own your power.

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