There are few moments I feel as balanced as just after a yoga class – body aligned, mind clear, ego humbled. It’s one of the main benefits of yoga and one that I’ve been touting to my boyfriend since we met. I want him to experience that same post-savasana bliss. But how do you get a non-yogi on the mat? I’ve been asking myself this question – and while he hasn’t invested in an annual membership yet – my partner will join me for the odd studio practice or at-home meditation.
If you were to walk past a yoga class, happiness may not be the first feeling that you see expressed on student’s faces. Whatyou will see is whole lot of sweat, a few people falling over, and some bodies bent in a way you thought reserved for Cirque du Soleil. Despite the seriousness on student’s faces, there is actually unlimited peace, joy, patience and bliss to be found on the mat. You just need to know where to find it.
Recently I was lucky enough to enjoy A 3-day yoga retreat in the gorgeous Govinda Valley just south of Sydney with Kirsty Wright Yoga. It was my first ever yoga retreat. Initially, I thought the idea of a retreat was all too lavish and indulgent. Fortunatley, I caught onto the falseness of this perspective and gave the retreat a chance. It’s fair to say that most people come to retreat during a time of transition. I was no different. I drove into retreat with a bit of baggage, having a handful of big decisions to make in most areas of my personal life. Heading off on a solo road trip to hang out with a bunch of strangers when I was feeling vulnerable was of course a bit daunting, but my soul called for it, so I followed.
First things first – you’re amazing. Just as you are. However, we all have goals and visions we aspire to. Being the best versions of ourselves is a positive focus for us all. Habits can often help us get there. Habits are behaviours we want to follow forever, without decision or debate. They allow us to act without thinking. Studies show that about one-fourth of our waking time is spent resisting desire – the urge to eat, rest, relax, and pursue pleasure. By mastering our habits, we eliminate decision and have much more mental resources to devote elsewhere.
There’s no denying that sports luxe is in. The aesthetics of yoga is unavoidable nowadays with pretzel-shaped yogis all over our social pages, and everyone trading in their skinny jeans for yoga tights. I remember feeling a sense of pride when I purchased my first Lululemon mat to take with me to yoga teacher training. I absolutely loved it. Before I even had a chance to practice on my gorgeous new mat our teachers handed us a permanent marker and asked us to draw alignment marks ALL over our mats. I quickly had to learn that attaching to material items only causes misery.