Monday, 24 April 2017

The sky is not my limit, I am (T.F. Hodge)

A friend and I were chatting and giggling like children recently. We are both feeling positive and pro-active about our lives and the fact that we feel we are steering the ship, rather than the ship being carried along helplessly on the waves.

Our enthusiasm seems to be bubbling over into day-dreaming territory. To the point where we occasionally apologise for our could we be so childish and dare to dream big?

But actually, I think we all need to dream big. What's the point of aiming at targets you know you can hit. Where's the thrill, the excitement, the giddiness? I don't want to stay in my comfort zone. I know what lies there. I want to explore my limits and push them as far as I can. 

You may well wonder what on earth this has to do with yoga.

A lot actually.

Occasionally someone comes to class and tells me they want to cure their 'bad' back. Then comes the bit where I explain yoga isn't a quick-fix, that it takes time, dedication and commitment - but that it can absolutely help. 

Two weeks later they say they're not sure they can carry on because it is too hard. Their leg muscles ache and they thought it would be more restful, with more sitting down and breathing.

We all need to work hard for what we want! 

Yes, a part of yoga is sitting and breathing, but we need to learn how to sit well, our bodies need to be reminded what alignment feels like. We need to ease stiffness, improve muscle tone, reign in over-used areas and develop an awareness and sensitivity so that we become our own teachers. 

I have never once heard an experienced yoga practitioner say that yoga is easy. Because it isn't!

You don't get the results yoga yields from just sitting around breathing! It takes hard work, determination and commitment. You have to work on the poses you find hard. You have to make yourself go to class even when you are feeling lazy. 

We need to be strong, courageous, learn from our failings, stay positive and keep believing in ourselves and what we are doing. We need to remind ourselves why we are doing it when times get tough. 

We need to keep pushing the boundaries of the possible so that eventually the impossible becomes reality.... our lives and in our yoga.