My yoga has always been less handstands more child’s pose.
And if you’ve never been to a yoga class you may be surprised that I can’t stand on my head (or my hands come to think of it). Child’s pose is the one where you basically crawl up in a lovely ball and put your head on the ground… and it’s the position I tend to favour more often than not.
When I first tried a yoga class I must have unknowingly showed up at a restorative session. One where they dim the lights, talk softly and get you to lay down on your back. Let’s just say the floor had never felt so good to me. So welcoming. I woke up an hour later feeling like I’d just arrived back from a week long beach holiday served up with a daily massage. Needless to say I was HOOKED. But it did take some time getting used to it. The next time I went to the same class I felt more restless, agitated and couldn’t shut my thoughts off.
I’ve learnt over time now that ‘yoga’ is not jus the moves you make on the mat (hallelujah!) it’s about how you live your life, both on and off the mat. And it’s been the greatest metaphor in learning how to tune in to what I most need – body mind or soul — at any particular point in my daily life. Which means, yes, you probably will still find me in child’s post more often than headstand. And that’s because when I do get on the mat quite often I’m in a space of needing to ground myself. Life is busy off the mat and I’m seeking permission to slow down, to pause, to switch off. But it’s also not to say I haven’t now attempted a headstand. Okay so I’ve leant forward on my arms ever so briefly – point is, there are limits and I’M the one who gets to choose them. That’s what yoga has given me in my life.
Which is why I’m so passionate about the power of tuning in to our bodies, our minds AND our souls. So many of us spend so much time in our heads we forget that they’re actually connected to a whole other part of us – our bodies. And that spending too much time in analytical, go-go-go, thinking mode also means we’re only utilising half our brains. Something I share with all my clients who come to me burnt out, lost and disconnected from themselves. We immediately get to feeling and connecting more with what’s going on in their bodies. Might sound strange that a ‘coach’ is getting straight to work with feelings. But that’s really where connection comes from. And that’s also where the difference between living life on autopilot and living with purpose, aliveness and vitality sits.
So if you’re one of those people who spends too much time in your head, ask yourself today how is it I want to move through my life? What do I most want to experience? Start paying attention to the feelings that show up for you when you think about those experiences. Is it about feeling stronger? Connected? Lively? Certain? And how do you know when you’re feeling those things? (Hint: Think about the last time you experienced that feeling and wait for it to show up in your body. Ask yourself where specifically you feel it or how. Is it in your belly? Head? Is it hot or cold?).
Want more? Join Sue Rahmani and I at our Refresh and Recharge Wellbeing sessions at Embody Wellness in Vauxhall — they’re all about body, mind and soul as we blend yoga, coaching and meditation practices. Or check out our other events and programmes. At the heart of what we care about is connecting you back to you.