I AM AN ADDICT.
I’m addicted to exercise and it’s not just Yoga that I enjoy either. I’m a runner, I lift weights and get my sweat on during regular spin classes. Exercise makes me feel great both physically and mentally, however, a week ago today I fell (whilst running in the woods) and tore my knee up, resulting in 8 big stitches.
In A&E, the first thing I asked the Doctor was, “Can I still go to Spin class tomorrow morning?” (I don’t think I need to share the answer to that).
The thought of no exercise honestly filled me with dread. I thought I would be a monster to live with and to be around. Instead I’m taking some time out, with my leg elevated and, when my knee aches, a focus on gratitude for being able to feel sensations in my leg. This space allowed me the opportunity to breathe, be present and for the ‘real’ Yoga to kick in. It’s easy to imagine Yoga to be an advanced pose, which looks amazing. However, to me, advanced yoga is the internal work.
The ‘Bhagavad Gita’ (this could be considered the most treasured text of the Indian system) is set on a battlefield, during the beginning of a war, between two opposing armies. Yoga happens on the battlefield of life. In chapter 2, verse 47 it is explained; you never know what life is going to throw at you BUT you can choose how you meet it.
Yoga recognises that everything is training; even the little things. It can be defined as being the same in easy times and not so easy times. In other words, Yoga is even-ness and skillfulness in the things we do. Advanced Yoga is when you can stand steady, come what may. When you can experience the ups and downs of life and not be overwhelmed; then you are in Yoga.
Depression, anxiety, trauma, anger, sadness are real. The question is how to meet them when they come.
Breathing, meditation and movement practices can have such a profound effect on mental and physical health. It’s so important to give yourself some time out. I’m on the healing path now and I’m feeling better already.
Imagine if all children were given these tools to help them navigate the inevitable ups and downs that life delivers. How to stay steady when your football team loses, when overwhelmed or stuck in class, in the playground, managing challenges with friends or dealing with transitions and anxiety.
Based in Glasgow, Little School of Yoga works with children and adults of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to promote physical and mental wellbeing.