Accepting downtime with your yoga

Accepting downtime; what is that right? Does that even exist in 2018? Do we just ignore all those signals telling us we need to rest and recuperate?

Accepting downtime with your yoga practise is something that for many of us is completely against the way we are wired, and sometimes seen as impossible due to lifestyle and life commitments but it is something that is essential that we must accept and act upon when required.

Downtime with your yoga can result or come from different situations or feelings, and the key is to just accept it once it does arise.

One example could be if you injure yourself, but you still want to go to class even though it's not just something you can shake off, it is that acceptance that is fine to be hurt and having that time off will allow you to heal properly and then use the yoga to heal further once you are ready.

Another example could be that you have been full on in your work life, personal life and even yoga life and you haven't given yourself time to relax, and suddenly you find yourself not wanting to do anything but force yourself. But this is not healthy nor is it going to benefit your mind and soul.

When I started taking my practise seriously I was not in the best place physically, which also led to mental health issues. During that time I really pushed myself and believed I had to just go to yoga all the time regardless of how I felt, but I started to realise being on all the time was not letting me progress how I thought I would, but it was only when I found the balance and reacting to each situation in the right way I found much more progression in my practise but I also found that in my life.

That teaching has taken me years to really put into practise and still there are times where I lose my balance and have to lock that knee again in order to get it back.

As you progress in yoga, fall in and out of love with your yoga and even yourself, there will be times when you need that downtime, and the most important thing you can do for yourself is to be at peace when that time is.

And as the great Dali Lama says; "We can never make peace with the outside world until we make peace with ourselves"

Thank you for reading.

Written by Suraj Ghumra.

Being kind to yourself when practicing your yoga

Living in a day and age where we are expected to be superhuman, robotic and always available is a very difficult requirement for anyone. And this can and has led to a lot of mental health issues for today's world.

And that expectation is taken with you to your mat, the expectation that every class must be the best, and you must always be on form, but that isn't always the case nor should you expect it to be. Like life, your yoga comes with its ups and downs, and it is a relationship with yourself, and like all relationships, there are changes and waves, which is something we must all expect as yogis and yoginis but something we do not always know how to.

Throughout 6 years of practicing, observing teachers & students, talking to fellow practitioners and researching the art of yoga, one thing I have learnt is that your practise will always fluctuate and the most important thing you can do is be kind to yourself, and when your class isn't as strong as you may have wanted to be that day, The key is to let it happen, accept it and use every second of your time on the mat as a lesson, good or bad the most important thing to do is turn up and do what you can at that moment.

You are always changing, growing and testing yourself and during those changes, your body will have something to say about it, and sometimes that is the best standing bow pulling pose you have ever done, and something that is just the worst rabbit, but being kind to yourself when practicing your yoga is not only important for your soul, it is essential to your growth.

This Easter; be good to yourself whilst you find some time for yoga. But also remember to be good to those around you and as you get deeper into your practise, acceptance of yourself and those around you will come hand in hand.

Thanks for reading.

Written by Suraj Ghumra.