• Alison Little

Time to practice

When is the perfect time to start practising yoga?

Christmas is over. The food has been eaten, the presents have been opened and hopefully everybody has had a wonderful time with their families near and far.

But Christmas can also be a very stressful time of year. Did you get the right presents? Were there things you wanted to buy, but couldn’t afford? Or maybe it’s trying to get two sides of a broken family to reconcile, or having to have two Christmases to please everybody. All of the excitement and stress can take a toll on our bodies and minds and we come away from what was meant to be a holiday, feeling more tired and worn out than before we began! So how can we counteract this exhaustion of the body and mind?... A Little Yoga.

A common misconception of yoga is that it’s all about the body. We must attend an hour-long class so that we can lose weight, become stronger and more flexible. Well yes, these things can be a result of practising Yoga, but this is not all yoga is about. Would you benefit from 10 minutes of sitting quietly, breathing fully and listening to no-one? This is yoga. How about when you’re in a queue in the supermarket waiting to pay for your food shop? Taking a second to be aware of your posture. This is yoga.

Yoga is what you make of it, it’s not just about the physical, it is all encompassing the physical and spiritual (I’m not talking religious spiritual- I’m talking about your own spirit, your intention) So even if you came to class and spent half of it sat on the mat concentrating on your breathing, you would come away benefiting from the experience.

At this time of year, you may be starting to think of a New Year’s Resolution. That may include coming to a yoga class- Excellent! But it may also include less stress and more time spent working on yourself rather than trying to please everyone else. I want to bring your attention to the Sanksrit word SANKALPA.

SANKALPA- an intention formed by the heart and mind, a solemn vow, determination, or will.

Sounds very much like a resolution? Every time we practice yoga, whether it be in class, at home or standing in a queue at the shops, we are practising Sankalpa. Every time you commit to an asana or pose, a breathing technique or a quiet meditation you are practising Sankalpa. So, if you think that you are making a resolution once a year which typically gets broken a couple of months in, think again! If you join us this year, you’ll be making hundreds, if not thousands, of resolutions throughout the year and achieving each and every one of them!

So yes, now IS the perfect time to start practising yoga! I invite you to start right now, take 2 minutes to sit and breath fully in and out, empty your mind, forget about going back to work, or what you need to get from the shops. Just sit and breathe. And when you are finished, celebrate- you just started practising yoga!

A Little Yoga goes a long way.


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