So, it was a busy Christmas, New Year and start to the year. We held the Christmas 2015 and New Year 2016 functions at our house this time round, all amongst our continuing renovations. Then into January, the ‘birthday month’ in our household, one birthday a week for the first three weeks, this seems to keep happening EVERY YEAR?! Then back to work, execute the mega-school-start preparation and squeeze in one last week up north for a post-holiday holiday!
I don’t know what it is about the New Zealand Summer, but we really do make a meal of it here. No surprise that over the months of January and February, if you ring a business to talk to someone, they are ‘away on holiday’. It’s true island life.
The same went for my yoga practice, I kept going to bar-b-ques, beaches, visiting friends with pools, summer events and the children were off school for what seemed like an eternity. I couldn’t find a class to fit in with their schedule and without a steady work/school/home routine it just wasn’t happening.
Being such a newbie to Yoga meant I hadn’t factored in how to fit regular practice into a busy summer, but I wanted to continue with something, so I found myself chucking in a few moves in the lounge here and there and trying to integrate something into our summer activities wherever possible or sometimes even where seemingly impossible.
I did this as I was pining for and in need of a ‘really good stretch’ and also tuned into some of the learned meditation, to tune out for ten minutes here and there (highly necessary over the school holiday period). These practices were already embedded into my psyche even after such a short time of regular attendance.
With this newfound sense of wellbeing I felt more ready to face the day and wanting to be healthier overall. I found myself beginning the day with lemon juice in warm water as opposed to an English Breakfast Tea with a heaped teaspoon of sugar.
I found my moods becoming more even, where little things that usually annoyed me just washed off my stretched-out back. Not sweating the small stuff at all, leaving me to wonder why people do fuss over these little things.
Whenever anything stressful cropped up I’d naturally tune into the end of class meditation zone, recalling the calm, soothing voice of the teacher/instructor making you feel ‘eeeeeverythhhhiiiinng is allllllllright’. They do everything so seamlessly, (it’s all that practice under their yoga pants) – how they move, how they speak and how they teach us.
They do this all the time! So do they feel like this ALL THE TIME!? I’m slowly getting ‘it!’
YOGA at all times, in all places…
1) I was a parent-help on my son’s school trip to the gym and couldn’t resist doing the warm-up stretches with the 35-strong group of kids and felt frustrated when the instructor guided them to the next stretch, in my opinion, far too soon, I was wanting to hold it and breathe in deeper, extending the stretch . . . . .
2) We were at a casual BBQ with friends and I wasn’t content with just sitting around, eating nibbles, using the food table as a trough so launched myself into the “legs up the wall” position. While my friends didn’t think twice about me doing something a little on or off the wall in the middle of a do, they were surprised it looked a little like real exercise! I held the pose for a good ten minutes, friends were nudging me playfully with their feet to try and topple me, children flopped on me using me as a big soft cushion and dogs were trying to lick my face. But I held it and it felt so good!
This move sparked a round of ‘Downward Facing Dog’ (Adho Mukha Svanasana) <AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAHS-anna> / adho = downward |mukha = face |svana = dog
A tiny 4 year-old girl knew exactly what this was and showed us her best. She obviously has a Yoga Mum.
This lovely lady in the photos is a feature writer for DoYouYoga.com and really knows her stuff if you want to try out this excellent all-rounder of a universal Yoga pose – Excellent Downward Dog instructions from Anna Coventry . She also has a FANTASTIC blog with all sorts of yummy yoga-ness if you fancy listening to a professionals advice, not just a beginners perspective… http://www.annacoventry.com/ . She is really cool and is one of those fab teachers I’ve been raving on about!
It’s good fun at barbecues too!
Yes. It is universal, it can be done in any place at any time, spans all ages, is entirely addictive and, as with all exercise, we have to be conscious of making the time for it to happen, even in Summer.
Have I got my Yoga ‘on’? Imagine if I do even more?
I’m putting off the hot yoga, just for the moment . . . it seems a little daunting, yet will obviously need to be conquered for the sake of sharing such an experience with you…
So where’s my next class going to be?
I’ve heard Yin Yoga is good for holding stretches… for up to five minutes! Wow!
If you would like to see this journey through from the very beginning, follow these tales of beginner Yoga times gone past…