Don't cross Yoga off the list

I have recently re-discovered my yoga. I say re-discovered, have discovered again, as I already had my initial discovery. Those who have had this will understand the discovery as being the movement from an inability to conceive how exactly bending yourself into a series of seemingly inactive postures can have any particular benefit physically and , more especially, mentally, into a state of revelation as to yoga’s worth and wonderment as to how you got by before this revelation.

Once discovered in this way, it is difficult to imagine life without yoga. This may seem dramatic but once you have achieved the level of holistic awareness that focused yoga practice brings then it is difficult to imagine it slipping away. This awareness is learnt, it is not handed to you by a teacher along with your thin blue floor mat. The positive impacts of yoga in the early stages are too enlightening to ignore, and my enlightenment was more then apparent. I did go on about it, preaching the merits of yoga at every turn, always enthusiastic in my recommendation of yoga as a lifestyle to all

But practice of late has been less fervent and sloppy in fact. Working a stressed-out and demoralising job combined with other post-university anxieties overwhelmed my scope for calm and determined yoga. And I have felt bad for not doing it. This, I now realise, is not what yoga’s about. If you feel guilty because you have not practised then it defeats the object of it being a positive inclusion into life. It mustn’t be a case of, ‘oh good, I’ve done my yoga for the day,’ ticking it off a checklist of daily events along with the washing up. I am guilty of such geeky checklists but they should be reserved for boring things I think.

If you set yoga as a routine, then routine is what yoga becomes. And what is routine is done blindly, without thinking, and so for yoga means practice without concentration and progression. We then become static in the postures. As with anything that is done out of habit, it is easy to develop bad habits. I for one hate that which is routine, to be done mundanely and with no resultant stimulation or constructive effect.

We must not lose the realisation that yoga can be used to combat the strain placed by modern life, it is not to be included within it.

So I am back on the case, with a new yoga book and inspiration to enhance the postures that were before part of a kind of daily yoga regurgitation. It is about re-thinking your yoga practise. For me, the re-gained feeling of control from this increased self-discipline leaks into all areas, I am generally more able to grab life with both hands. So do not be discouraged by flagging inertia in your passion for yoga. Go and re-discover yoga, I can’t recommend it enough…

Written by Karen Britton