Another day, another yoga studio! I love to take yoga classes whenever I travel. For me, it’s as much a part of the cultural experience as sightseeing and enjoying the local food…. plus yoga always makes me feel good.
Took a great class with Mark at the Nadi Wellness Centre in Queenstown last night and plan to go back for another this morning before we leave. Whatever class I choose, I’m modifying the movement and poses to suit exactly how my body is, and how I feel, on that particular day ….which basically means a gentle class for me right now.
I have pretty much maintained my mobility by doing lots of mini yoga and Pilates moves whilst I was out of action but I have lost a lot of strength down one side. So in class, I soften and breathe deeply so I can feel what is going on in my body and move accordingly. If you don’t soften and breathe deeply, you just can’t feel things the same way. I never use force to push through resistance as that never leads anywhere good. So if something doesn’t feel comfortable, l respond to that. I sway a little, back and forth, side to side, so I’m not locking the joints or putting my weight through one part only. If that doesn’t work, I work around it, softening, releasing tension wherever I can, modifying the movement until it does. At the moment that means Side Plank with one knee down, keeping my arm bent behind my head rather than outstretched in Triangle, taking my hands wider in Down Dog, sometimes so wide, they are off the mat. I know, unbelievably rebellious, right?!! But so far, I haven’t gone to hell for it…:)) I will move them back in just as soon as I can.
More often than not right now, I’ll come out of poses sooner than I used to and rest in Child’s Pose instead. Doing little and often works best for me.
I don’t care what advanced pose my neighbours are doing on the mat beside me. They are not in my body, so they can’t possibly know what tension I am still holding in one shoulder, they don’t know I have newly healed stitches round my ribcage, or how quickly my right arm trembles. I just do my own thing, based as closely as possible to the general movement the class is making that works for me. That’s it! And if I keep doing that daily in a class, or in my home practice, softly, softly… leaning in and strengthening when it feels good to strengthen….lingering when it feels good to linger, easing off where it doesn’t…. it will all come back. I will also have learnt to move with more grace and co-ordination than ever before, and that skill will take me further, faster, in the long term, waaay beyond where I was before the accident and all these complications happened. I’ll end up more capable, more fluid in my body, than I ever was before.
That’s the beautiful thing about yoga. When you practise with grace and co-ordination, you can be better at it in your 40s than you were in your 20s… better in your 80s than you were in your 40s. I’ll let you know how it goes for me!
If you’d like to join my yoga classes or workshops in Cornwall, practising yoga for YOU, I restart teaching from 25th February…. teaching ALL levels from Gentle to Strong. I will even let you place your hands off the mat if needs be!! 😊
See you soon x