Guest Post – Nata Moraru tells how yoga has changed her life

“Home is neither here nor there, home is within you or nowhere at all.” Herman Hesse

One of my favourites quotes. Always liked it but never felt it 100% even if I thought I did. It was just after I started to do yoga (about a year ago) when I truly felt it. With all my bones, chest and water.

I felt in love with yoga the first time I went. I went for the body, stayed for the mind and soul. Because at the beginning I didn’t feel much changes in my body (the body changes came later and they were amazing), but my mind and soul was like a cherry tree in spring. During Savasana (relaxation) I started to feel that “home within” that Hesse is talking about. And it was amazing. I felt the whole universe is in my chest. I felt like I was lifted from the mat and at the same time was melting in the floor. Never felt that before. It was truly amazing. I always had a “special relationship” with water but since I started to do yoga it became stronger. When I am doing yoga I feel like I’m the whole sea and a boat that is floating on it. Both at the same time. Very interesting feeling. One time during Savasana I had tears in my eyes, totally unexpected, like the sea I was feeling inside me, that I always see an feel during yoga flowed through my eyes. Same water, same salt. At that moment I felt one with everything. I felt home. The “oneness”.

The breath is the bridge between mind and body and a very powerful tool.
I started to feel my body differently. I wasn’t ashamed of it anymore (as I’ve been my whole life, because of my twisted spine and because I was always very skinny and so many people were reminding me about it every day and telling me I should eat more).
And I think that’s why it started to respond to all the exercises. Because I started to feel my body differently. I also started to become more aware of my body and how I was standing outside of yoga.

Nata-before-and-after

Before and after photographs show how Nata has gained weight as she has become more in tune with her body

I stopped hiding my back (as I’ve been always doing, with long hair or hoodies). I’m not ashamed of my back and body anymore. It feels really good. I gained about 11kg since I started to do yoga, even my eating habits didn’t change. I feel healthy and feel good in my own body.

Then the pain disappeared. The back pain, I had my whole life, especially past 5-6 years when I couldn’t stand up for more than two hours without having killing pain in my back. I few weeks ago, after a very long day at work, about 12 hours standing up I noticed that I have no pain in my back, at all. Yes, my feet were hurting my arm was tired from holding the heavy camera, but no pain in my back. My lower back that was always in pain.
It’s an amazing feeling – not to be in pain, after so many hours of standing up, when a year ago I had to crawl out of bed because of the pain (it hurt too much just to sit up from lying so I always had to crawl out to the floor then stand up).

This x-ray of Nata’s spine shows her scoliosis clearly.

I had a twisted spine since I can remember. I think I was about 7-8 years old when my mum noticed that my back was just a little bit uneven, and we had the bad luck to go to a doctor that didn’t really know what he was doing and only cared for the money. I started to do some exercises with him, and some pretty “violent” and painful massage when he was pushing my bones, I found out later that It was very bad for my back and in no time from a slightly uneven back my spine became S shape and nobody couldn’t help me.

Unmeasurable gratitude to Helen for all her help. I am very lucky and thank the gods to have decided that winter day of 1st December to go online and look for yoga classes in Liverpool and to have found Helen’s class. Over the last year I have tried to go 3 times a week because I think it’s important to go regularly. There are many more things I could say about how yoga makes me feel and how it changed my life but sometimes there are not enough words…

Don’t just go to church, be the church. Don’t just go to yoga, be yoga. Don’t just lay on the grass, be the grass. Don’t just. Be. Be.come one.

Bless.

Namaste x

This post was written by Nata Moraru. As well as being a dedicated yogini, Nata is also a photographer, you may have seen some of the photo’s she has taken of me on instagram recently, you can find her photography here on Facebook.

Marc’s Vegan Samosa and Bhaji Recipes from my Yoga Workshops

As some of you know my fiancé Marc has been making some amazing food for my workshops.  Here he shares his Samosa and Bhaji recipe which have been a real hit at the workshops. The Samosa recipe is a little different from a traditional recipe as they are baked in the oven rather than deep fat fried, healthy and delicious! All recipes are vegan, enjoy.

Samosas

Vegan samosa

I tried to take a picture of these but by the time I got there there was only one left. I think that says it all!

potatoes – 2 large sized ones (about 600g)
onions – 2 (about 250g)
peas – 1 cup (about 60g)
ginger – 1 thumb
garlic – 4 cloves
finger chillies – 2
lemon – juiced
mango chutney / dried mango powder – 1-2 tbsp
cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
cumin 1 tsp
ground coriander – 1 tsp
chopped coriander – small bunch
garam masala – 2 tsp
chaat masala – 2 tsp
vegan spread
pastry brush

Either 1 pack of Filo pastry (like jus-roll) or make your own!

Method

filling:

Some peel the potatoes but I don’t.
Wash and boil potatoes until cooked, remove from heat, change to cold water to cool them down.
In a large pan warm up some coconut oil, sauté the onion for a minute, then add the chillies, garlic for another minute.
chop up potatoes and add
Add everything else except the mango and lemon and quietly simmer for a few minutes until everything is evenly covered with the spices
add lemon juice and mango and gently relax into the mixture

preparation:

warm up some vegan spread in a small pan
Take one sheet of fill and place flat on work surface, with the length going left to right
thinly brush with spread
fold bottom third upwards to middle and brush. then do the same with the top third, so it it only a third as deep as before. brush again
add a dessertspoonful of the mixture to one end
fold the corner down to the bottom edge, to form a triangle
keep folding along the length of the pastry until you reach the end.
brush the end again and seal the samosa and place seam-down on a baking tray
do the same until you run out of ingredients
bake gas mark 5 for 20-25 mins, until golden brown, turning once

Top hints: If you make the filling the day before and leave in the fridge overnight the flavours mix deeper. For an alternative texture, try just cooking the potatoes but not the rest and it will cook in the over anyway but it will be a bit more crunchy and ‘drier’. You can deep fry these but I prefer to bake them, as its more healthy.

 

Bhajees

yoga-workshop-eating

Yoga students enjoying Marc’s snack at a recent workshop.

gram lour 4oz / 120 g
potatoes – 2 large sized ones (about 600g)
onions – 2 (about 300g)
ground coriander – 1 tsp
chopped coriander – small bunch
turmeric 1/2 tsp
finger chillies – 2
ginger – 1 thumb
garam masala 1/2 tsp
chaat masala – 1/2 tsp
cumin 1 tsp
seaweed/nori flakes – pinch
1/2 pint water

Method:

Some peel the potatoes but I don’t.
Wash and boil potatoes until cooked, remove from heat, change to cold water to cool them down.
In a large mixing bowl, put everything but the potatoes and water onto the bowl and combine thoroughly
add potatoes and stir well in
slowly add water until the mixture is slack, not runny (if you overdo the water you can rescue it with a bit more gram flour
heat up oil in pan to very hot (the oil needs to be about 5-6 cm deep), or use deep fat fryer set high
carefully pull together a bhajee using two desert spoons to fashion a ball and place into oil
cook for around 8 minutes until it turns a deep golden brown and start to float
cook in batches, depending on the size of the pan being used and lay aside on kitchen paper

Top hints: I like using red onions for a slightly less aggressive hit. This is definitely better with organic onions and potatoes. Serves well with mango chutney, hummus, vegan mayo or vegan cucumber dip (I suppose I’ll have to mention that now too)

Vegan cucumber dip

plain soy yogurt – 2 cups
cucumber – 2, sliced small
garlic – 3 cloves chopped finely and crushed beneath knife blade
lemon juice – 3 tbsp
paprika – 1/4 tsp
pepper – dash
fresh chopped mint leaves – 1tbsp (a bit more if not fresh)
seaweed/nori flakes – pinch

Student Perspective – Why Mysore Style is my favourite yoga class by Kate

I’ve been practicing Ashtanga for about 2 1/2 years now, and recently have been developing my home practice, which seems to be ever-expanding. Recently Helen asked if I would write something about Mysore style classes, which I feel strangely divided about. Mysore style teaching is definitely my favourite (I’ll explain why). Unusually, Monday’s Mysore style class is always quieter (which I do love, so I am secretly hoping not to advertise it too well).

Mysore is the Indian city where Ashtanga yoga originates from. Around the world Ashtanga is traditionally taught ‘Mysore Style’. In a Mysore class each student has the freedom to do their own practice, like they would at home, but with the benefit of support and guidance from their teacher. Teaching is individualised with students receiving new postures one, or several at a time, when they are ready to move on. Helen teaches a Mysore Style class every Monday at 730pm and the structure of the class, which is led by the student’s own practice, means it is completely open-level and appropriate for everyone.

Kate, Helen and Kevin practicing Ashtanga Yoga in a Mysore Style Class

Kate, Helen and Kevin practicing Ashtanga Yoga in a Mysore Style Class

My first Mysore class was just over a year ago when I was trying to consolidate my home practice. Prior to this I had been attending led classes, and felt a bit unsure if I would be able to remember the sequence. However, there was no need to worry. I entered a quiet class with a couple of experienced students and went through the sequence slowly in bite-size chunks with Helen, and was surprised how quickly I had remembered the postures. Now the sequence seems to be second nature up to my stop point, although I still experience memory lapse at Navasana!

There are a few things that I love about Mysore Style Classes. The first is the way they demystify self-practice. Because in these classes you are practicing leading yourself, this can help you to feel that your practice belongs to you. This confidence helps me to be more committed to practicing at home.

I have also found that developing my self-practice through Mysore Classes has helped me to be more tuned into my body. Facing challenges from pain or weakness requires physical and mental re-education, and the challenges are constantly changing. An example from my practice is that midway into primary series seated forward bends I like to yawn (a lot), which Helen (and other students) started noticing. But it’s not because I’m bored, I just breath lazily in deep forward bends, and the result is reduced oxygen to my brain! During Mysore teaching Helen helped me with the depth of my breathing, and last week with Christine I was able to spend a bit more time in deep seated forward bend focusing on using my diaphragm to breath deeply (and yes, no yawning!).

A really brilliant thing about Helen’s Mysore Style Classes is the atmosphere, as a result my Monday practice has become relaxed and thoughtful. Helen also recently started Mysore Intensives, traditional early morning practice Monday-Thursday, with full led primary series on Friday. Getting up very early and practicing before work is definitely a challenge for me, amazing and I would highly recommend the experience.

So if you are curious about Mysore Style Classes, my advice is to give it a go, with an open mind. There is no need to know the sequence in advance or to begin at a certain level, and it might just become your favourite style of class.

 

Tempeh Courgettes – A new healthy recipe that tastes as good as it looks

Are you looking for great tasting healthy food recipes?  It’s easy to get stuck in a routine of eating the same meals. It makes sense, life gets busy and after a busy day you just have to eat.  Every once in a while though it’s nice to try something different isn’t it?

I posted a picture of this  delicious meal, which Marc made for our lunch last week, my Facebook page.  Many of you liked and commented on the picture and there was a request for the recipe, here it is:

Tempeh Courgette’s (created by my partner Marc)

Ingredients

Courgettes stuffed with tempeh

Every bit as delicious as it looks

2 large courgettes (or zucchini if you want to sound exotic)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion chopped very finely
1 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. paprika
A pinch of seaweed, dulse, or nori (use instead of salt)
1/2 (8-ounce) pack of tempeh, crumbled
1/2 cup frozen sweetcorn
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced (grown by Ashtanga Yoga Liverpool student Helen)
1 large tomato, diced (or a few small ones)
1/4 cup vegan stock
Yeast flakes

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400ºF or Gas mark 6
Slice each courgettes in half lengthwise, then scoop out the insides. Discard the insides, use them for something else or compost them.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and spices (chili powder through paprika). Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring often. Stir in onion and garlic, cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tempeh, corn, and jalapeños and cook until they’re beginning to brown, 3-5 minutes, continuing to stir often. Add the tomatoes and stock to the saucepan and cook until the liquid has absorbed, about 2 minutes more. Stir in yeast flakes here if using them and season to taste with seaweed flakes.
Fill each courgette half with the tempeh mixture, then top with some more yeast flakes. Transfer courgettes to a baking dish or sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are browned.
top with a sprinkling of coriander and serve.

Wonderful complementary salad

Dressing ingredients

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp organic balsamic vinegar
1 large satsuma (or 2 small ones) – juiced
2 tsp agave nectar

Mix some organic wild rocket, baby spinach and baby red chard together in a salad bowl
add organic mushrooms, tomatoes and onion.
Mix dressing together and add enough for salad mixture.
Serve and enjoy!

What is tempeh and where can I buy it in Liverpool

It was our first time buying Tempeh.  We bought ours from the frozen section at Mattas on Bold Street.  You can buy yeast flakes and nori flakes at Mattas as well. Tempeh is less processed than tofu and contains more protein and fibre.  It is an excellent source of protein for vegetarians, vegans and the curious meat eater looking for healthy options.  I am not a nutritionist, I just love food and the great energy living a healthy lifestyle gives me.

Have you ever tried tempeh?  What did you do with it? What interesting recipes have you cooked recently, share with our community.

 

 

Ashtanga Yoga Liverpool Bimonthly Social – Guest Post by Rosey

Helen does something every couple of months that it seems not all yoga teachers do. No, she doesn’t get crazy drunk and then go on a weekend long McDonalds binge. As far as I know. She organises socials, a chance to meet up with others who go to her classes, or for that matter don’t go to her classes.

So every few weeks we meet after her last class of the week, on a Friday night. We have a great place for this – a café called The Egg. This is perfect for a bunch of yogis because it’s all vegetarian, so great for vegans too, but also because you just order your food whenever, so you can drop in for a drink, a bit of cake, or go for a full meal. It’s also unlicensed, so you can bring your own alcohol if you want to but it’s nice to be somewhere on a Friday night where being surrounded by drunk people (or in my case, being led astray to become one of the drunk people . . .) isn’t part of the deal.

Yoga students eating food at the Egg

Ashtanga Yoga Liverpool’s May Social, last week

So some of us will have been to Helen’s last class that day. Or maybe one or two other classes during the week. Or no classes for a week. Or a month. Or ever. One of the nice things is meeting people’s partners, or complete yoga newbies who are coming to meet us all before venturing to class. Some of us know each other well now and have a big catch up. Some – probably most – have never actually spoken before, but having been in the same yoga class a few times, once introduced it’s often ‘Ah, so you’re the S____ who I heard being told to get those toes in during backbends’. There’s usually a bit of chat about yoga, and it’s a good chance for swapping experiences and asking advice more informally than in class, and then there’s usually an awful lot more chat about other stuff.

By the end of the evening, it’s often impossible to tell who knew who before we met up a couple of hours before. More than once I’ve assumed that the group going on for a drink or arranging to meet in the park next day must have been friends for a while, when it turns out that night’s the first time they’ve spoken. This is so important for people who are new to the city, and want to get to know people, but also who want to get to know places and organisations. Between us we have a pretty impressive wealth of knowledge about living well in in Liverpool. It never feels like there’s a ‘clique’, or an ‘in group’, just a bunch of otherwise disparate people who a) live here and b) do yoga. And we’re all nice, honest.

And then next time you’re in class, instead of a polite smile while you arrange your mat, there’s a proper grin, and a ‘how are you?’. And a confession from me that I have, once again, forgotten your name. Sorry about that.

Rosey Stock

Rosey

The next yoga social will be in July. You can keep updated with Ashtanga Yoga Liverpool’s events via the monthly newsletter. This blog post was written by Rosey Stock, you might recognise her from class. If you would like to contribute the blog, please let me know. It’s great to get the student perspective. Thanks Rosey.  Helen

Mysore India – Ashtanga Yoga’s Headquarters – Guest Post by Jennie Gorman

Helen has asked me to write a short guest blog about my trip to Mysore last December but keeping this short has proven to be something of a problem. To capture the magic of your first trip to India, with all its wonderful mix of smells and colours, spices and smiling faces, free roaming cows and honking horns, temples and palaces, is something of a challenge, especially as this is the first blog I’ve ever written.

 

Anyway at the end of last November I jumped on a plane bound for Bangalore to spend a month practicing at the Pattabhi Jois AYI in Mysore with Sharath. Some useful advice from Helen before I left was invaluable so I wasn’t completely taken completely by surprise when I arrived, only a little! After my first walk round Gokulum I did wonder where were all the western style cafe’s Helen had mentioned. However after a second tour round the streets by the shala with my trusty guide Kevin the delights of Gokulum were revealed, all the shops and cafe’s I hadn’t noticed before. All either part of houses or set back in gardens behind, the only giveaway was often only a small sign on the gate.

 

Having travelled all the way to India I was keen to get started practicing yoga so registered at the shala the afternoon I arrived. It was also a Sunday so had the opportunity to attend my first conference with Sharat. These are held every Sunday afternoon and provide many insights into the physical and spiritual practice of Ashtanga yoga not normally covered in a traditional class. This was also my first introduction to shala time. The clock in the shala is set 15 mins fast so this needs to be remembered for anything held at the shala, practice times, conference times, class times. It can become a little confusing when trying to convert from Indian time to British time to shala time, especially as none are in full hours.

 

After conference I filled in my registration form and waited in line to pay my fees and receive my registration card with start time. I was starting practice at 9 the next morning. After a good night’s sleep I made my way to the shala for 8.35, 10 mins early for my 8.45 start (9am shala time). I joined the queue in the hall and waited for a space to become available as those practicing finished one by one. Finally it was my turn and I entered the shala to Sharat’s call of ‘one more’. I laid my mat down in the newly opened space and went to the changing rooms to change. And so my first practice began. Adjustments were given by Sharat, his mother Saraswati and a few assistants at key poses such as hasta padangustasana, marichasana D and sputa kurmasana. Sharat stopped me at sputa kurmasana and so I went to straight to back bends followed by the finishing sequence. 2 days later my time had been changed to 8.45 shala time and I was completing the full primary with drop backs. Friday was led primary practice for everyone while Sunday was led intermediate for those at this stage with another led primary for everyone else. Another compulsory class was chanting at 10.30 three days a week. At first this involved chanting some Sanskrit prayers, counting and asana names. Optional additional classes were also available, including Sanskrit, yoga sutras, Bhagavad Gita and hatha yoga pradipika. All of these were run by Laksmish in the evening 3 times a week each.

 

As the month progressed the shala and Gokulum became busier and busier, soon it was becoming very difficult to find accommodation. This was slightly difficult to arrange from England. There are a few guest houses and a handful of hotels that can be booked from the UK but most rooms / home stays can only be arranged once you get there. There are a few fixers that can help you with this once you arrive. For me I went to Shiva just opposite the shala and got a room sharing with fellow yoga students within few days of arrival. It was also only 3 doors down from the shala, very handy for the early morning starts.

 

While a typical day can often involve not much more than getting up for practice, going for breakfast, attending some extra classes, going for chai, fresh coconuts, lunch and wondering round the streets of Gokulum or a trip to the pool there is certain plenty of things to do while staying in Mysore. A visit to Mysore palace, both during the day and again on a Sunday night when it’s all lit up. Sightseeing and shopping around the city. Chamundi hill is worth a wallk up / down for views across the city. A trip to Mysore zoo or just relax at the swimming pool at the Regalis hotel. For Saturdays and moon days it’s well worth making a trips further afield sush as to the hills of Ooty or Coorg, or the Tibetan settlement of Bylakupe.

 

Well while I could easily continue on I’ve probably made this blog long enough now so I’ll leave it there but if anyone is planning a trip or just interested in hearing any more I’d be happy to tell you more.

 

Om shanti, shanti, shanti

 

Thanks for sharing your experiences Jennie. I many people will find this interesting. Below is a brilliant video of of Mysore by Kino MacGreggor, so you can see it for yourself. Enjoy, Helen

 

 

Yoga with a Bump – A Guest Post by Lyn Marven

Yoga with a bump

Pretty much the first thing I asked my doctor when I found out I was pregnant was whether I could carry on with yoga. I’ve been practising for around 15 years now, most of which has been ashtanga, and I couldn’t really imagine 9 months without yoga, however good the cause. Luckily medical advice these days is that you can carry on with any exercise that you are already used to doing, and Helen was happy to support me and give me information about the necessary modifications.

 

I had no idea what pregnancy would throw at me, and no expectations about how long ILyn Marven balances on one leg practicing yoga pose tree, 39 weeks pregnant would be able to carry on practising. But I’ve just come back from a Mysore style practice, and at 39 weeks I’m aware that it might actually be my last before the baby arrives! I’ve reached the point where my bump touches the floor in chaturanga dandasana (though sadly being supported in the middle doesn’t make it any easier); my camel pose (ushtrasana) has a real hump; and my forward bends neither go forward, nor really bend… but I’m glad I’ve kept going.

 

At first I felt quite self-conscious about missing out or modifying so many poses, especially early on, when we hadn’t told people about the pregnancy. Luckily in Mysore classes everyone is absorbed in their own practice so no-one really noticed. My body didn’t feel any different in the beginning too, so it was frustrating leaving out so many things, from jumping back / forwards, through the cross-body twists and most inversions, to anything that would overwork my stomach muscles or compress my non-existent bump (bye-bye bhujapidasana and supta kurmasana). Mind you, I wasn’t sad to wave goodbye to navasana…

 

In the second trimester I started to notice some changes – all that extra blood circulating made moving more strenuous, I had to stop lying on my back, and binding and bending became much more difficult as my growing belly began to get in the way. Since then I’ve been gradually adapting the poses to accommodate what I can now do – as yet another one changed, I couldn’t help hearing ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ in my head. Not the most relaxing soundtrack to yoga! But no more distracting than some of the a capella choir singing from the floor above on a Monday evening…

 

There isn’t a single posture that I haven’t had to modify over the last 8 months, even Lyn Marven practices warrior 2 yoga pose pregnantincluding dandasana and shavasana (corpse pose). But the essentials of yoga haven’t changed – breathing, focus, working with what my body can do on that particular day. And I’ve developed a new relationship with the postures I can still do – I’ve concentrated more on alignment, and grown to enjoy the poses that show off my bump, like tree posture, or virabhadrasana II (warrior 2), which was never my favourite pose before but now really does make me feel warrior-like.

 

I’ve been lucky that I haven’t suffered too many ailments and have been able to keep on practising –and no doubt practising has staved off some of the aches and pains that I might otherwise have had: I can’t prove anything, but I’m sure it’s a virtuous circle. I would certainly credit yoga with helping me to avoid some of the pregnancy side-effects like backache and high blood pressure, and with keeping me supple and active. (I have also been swimming and following a specific pregnancy yoga class.)

 

And I do know that yoga has helped me through pregnancy in a number of less tangible ways: it has kept me in touch with my ever-changing body, helped me adapt to what I can and can’t do, and to my shifting centre of gravity; at the same time, it has also kept me in touch with my pre-pregnancy self – in that sense having yoga as a kind of continuity has really helped me to get my head round everything that has changed (and will soon change even more!). And hopefully the strength, relaxation, focus and not least the breathing will stand me in good stead for the big push any day now!

 

By Lyn Marven

Lyn also attended some Pregnancy Yoga classes with Jenni Jones  which she found most helpful.  I trained to be a yoga teacher at the same time as a lovely Midwife Ann Blower who now has a Pregnancy and Postnatal Yoga Class.  If you are new to yoga and become pregnant it is recommended that you only attend dedicated pregnancy yoga classes.  If you are an existing student of mine please talk to your doctor and contact me before coming to class.  Each individuals needs need to be addressed differently.

Lyn, hope all goes well with the birth, look forward to meeting your daughter.

Helen

 

 

Some Yoga Is Better Than No Yoga – Guest Post From Claire Sanders

I first discovered ashtanga almost four years ago and was immediately drawn to the physical challenges it provided; I practised rigorously and with enthusiasm finding that, for awhile, physical improvements in the asanas were a regular occurrence.  As somebody who had never felt particularly physically capable this was a real ego boost, ego being the operative word.  But inevitably, after a time, my practice began to plateau and I was faced by my own limitations.

 

To me this is yoga; finding that gentle space between effort and struggle, the difference between loving corrections and violent scolds – connecting the breath and body with acceptance.  And yet in my experience it is far easier said than done; I still catch myself internally berating my efforts in my practice, a pattern repeated in daily life when left unchecked.  Yoga allows me to engage with and answer this voice, to silence it with a smile, and occasionally when my practice has been absent for awhile, a few tears.  Conversely when I do not practice regularly my body feels heavier, but the biggest change I feel is not in my back, hips or hamstrings but in my thoughts, actions and awareness of the wider world.

 

Despite this I often find that I have tricked myself out of the practice I deserve.  Ego’s don’t like to be quashed and mine frequently tells me “But you don’t have time…” followed by a long list of other important things I have to attend to that day.  This appeals to my rational side; my practice takes around 90 minutes after which I need to shower and get dressed which brings it to roughly two hours.

 

“Two whole hours?  Do I have a spare two hours today?  Not really, it can’t be helped, I will practice tomorrow.”

 

This is a familiar conversation in my mind.  To combat it I have begun answering it with “Some yoga is better than no yoga”.  In saying this I persuade myself to step onto my mat, knowing that any time spent there is time well spent, a shorter practice does not mean a less meaningful one. Perhaps I will not work on supta kurmasana that day but I will deepen my breathing, focus my mind, connect with my body and make peace with my ego.  This is why I really practice.  This is why it is important for me to make some time, any time to practice.  How do you experience making time to practice, are there internal/external obstacles to negotiate and what methods help you to overcome them?

By Claire Sanders