• Yoga Lili

RESToration


January. For some, it's the month of amazing & very well-intended resolutions. For others, a time to hunker down after the festive season busyness, hibernating from the cold, taking time to rest.

I heard some really great resolutions this week in our first week back in class; some are truly life-altering, like giving up the smokes. Another one also much impressed me - someone has undertaken to become more punctual. Whatever grabs us, resonates with us most is usually what will serve & suit us best, even if it is difficult & challenging; the most worthwhile undertakings usually are!

Like getting back on our Yoga mats &/or back to class after a spell away. Yoga literally is a practice; it is never ‘done’; we are never finishing learning, growing & changing on our mats. That, for me, is one of the best aspects of Yoga; there is no ‘end point’. And having that mindset, that attitude of ‘beginning again’, of maintaining our ‘Beginners Mind’ (no matter how many months, years or decades we’ve been stepping onto a Yoga mat or meditation cushion) allows us the freedom to be kind to ourselves, to meet ourselves where we are are RIGHT NOW & begin (again) from that place.

As for me, well I usually firmly fall into the ‘No Resolutions in January Brigade’; even if one has had a fabulous, fun & frolicsome festive season, it’s common to feel energetically depleted, let alone financially! And I had a slightly sombre, quiet Yuletide. My beloved Grandmother passed away on the Winter Solstice (after a very long & healthy life); I then ended up grieving via head-cold (well that’s MY interpretation of this never-ending dose that half the poor country seems to have had or still have) & then I have had some medical malarkey to contend with also.

So what has been brought home to me (yet again…) is the need for RESToration, emphasis on the REST! I am not very adept at this (hence my love & need for Yoga in my life…). In fact I really need to follow the example set by my Woofie Guru Mr Beni (see below!) - he has got this resting thing down pat ;-).

restoration (noun)

1.

the act of restoring; renewal, revival, or reestablishment.

2.

the state or fact of being restored.

3.

a return of something to a former, original, normal, or unimpaired condition.

I cannot think of a more worthwhile aim & need right now. No mad, multi-faceted health plan goals or frantic fitness aims or over-ambitious work proposals.

I was telling a friend recently that I take my cue from Mother Nature; Winter is a time when all seems to be slumber-some & slow. And for good reason! This period is when, beneath the surface, renewal is beginning to take shape, due to & reliant upon this period of less, of quiet, of slowness. The flora & fauna all know it yet we, with our amazing human-brain mental prowess, are the only ‘creatures’ who fight the nourishing good impulses that both the seasons & our own body & mind send us.

So, my little ‘non-grand-plan’ plan is based on realism & includes ZERO self-flagellation! Very simply, I am starting to softly ease back into nurturing self-care routines, the ones that I/we wildly abandoned oh somewhere round December 4th?!

Like earlier bedtimes, less late night TV; more reading, less online time; more healthier fare like homemade soups & smoothies; less rich, nutrient-deficient festive ‘treats’ (I am right now sipping on a cup of my Witches Brew which I find a great help to get over colds); more frequent walks & more cosy time on my Yoga mat, less ‘Desk-Jockey' & Couch-Island’ time; less ‘To Do’ & more just ‘To Be’ times! Maybe summarise it as more Savasana, less Sauvignon right now ;-)

We all know what really, truly makes us feel good. For more on self-care, take a look at this mindbodygreen article - I took one great little nugget from it:

"Someone else's demand is not necessarily your call to action."

It's a riff on that classic workplace "your crisis is not my emergency"! Really, it's about giving ourselves permission to say no (or yes!) when we need to, to sit back a little, slow down a bit more & tune into our very necessary self-care & self-compassion needs.

I wish you all the very best of luck with whatever small or grand, life-altering or life-enhancing plans, intentions & resolutions you may have, including those of you that made none! If we can all infuse our ‘wellness goals’ with a good dose of kindness, more than a modicum of compassion & a hefty dollop of realism, we’ll be all the better for it.

Finally, take a peek at The Top 5 Restorative Yoga Poses from care2.com; some of these will be familiar to you from class. Try them out at home after a busy day or week & of course, spend plenty of ‘cosyboots’ time in Savasana at the end - YOU ARE WORTH IT.

Happy New Year. Mind yourself. See you on your mat soon.

Om Shanti

Yoga Lili x

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