Running a business, keeping up with life and trying to fit in a consistent Yoga practice can be tough at times. I can’t even start to imagine when you add kids into the mix. Seriously, parents out there… how do you do it?! I’m a Yoga teacher, I’ve been teaching for over 5 years now. But before I became a Yoga teacher I had a very consistent Yoga practice.
From age 13 onwards, it was at least 2 Yoga classes a week. Fast forward to when I moved to the Gold Coast, I was doing at least 3 Yoga classes a week, there was even a time when my sister and I did 50 days straight of Yoga.
A couple of months ago we started work on a HUGE new project within the business. I was at my desk every day, writing thousands of words, researching high and low, and creating something really exciting. It was a fun feeling, to follow the bliss and follow the energy. HOWEVER, during that time I was working more hours which meant there was less time for life stuff, and less time for my health.
When life or work gets busier, if you’re like me, there are a few things that might fall out of balance. Maybe it’s home cooking? Maybe it’s time with loved ones? Maybe it’s your Yoga practice?!
I managed to allocate time to everything else, I was still exercising (walking and Pilates), BUT I let my Yoga practice slip away. Don’t ask me why, I know how good this practice is for me but slowly but surely I just stopped getting into that down dog.
Now the changes didn’t happen overnight but as days, weeks then a month went by, I started to notice some changes within me.
Here’s what I noticed when I stopped Yoga for a month (and I’m a Yoga Teacher!)
There were 4 main things I noticed about myself when I stopped practising Yoga for 1 month. They may not seem huge but on a day to day life living basis, it made a difference.
I felt more anxious
Anxiety is something I have felt often, however, my Yoga practice has really allowed me to manage these feelings and step away from the monkey mind and constant chitter chatter. After a month of no Yoga, I noticed that my anxiety was more present. I noticed that I was letting my mind take me on many journeys of ‘what ifs’. I felt less in control of my thoughts and more like my thoughts were running the show.
When I continue to learn and read about the benefits of Yoga (and experience them), stress and anxiety management are always at the top of the list. Consistent Yoga practice allows you to more swiftly bring awareness to your thoughts, allowing you to let them go, rather than let them take you for a ride.
I felt less patient
What’s that saying? Oh yeah, my fuse was much shorter than usual. Patience is such a wonderful benefit I experience and cultivate through my consistent Yoga practice. When I stopped Yoga for a month I really noticed that my compassion for others had diminished. I was quicker to anger and quicker to snap. Little things that wouldn’t normally affect me, started to affect me, silly things too!
I felt less focussed
If there is one way to hone your focus, wow, can Yoga help with that! In a world where we are surrounded by notifications beeping at us, inboxes piling up and a never-ending to-do list… focus is GOLD! When I practice Yoga consistently, I notice that I am more intentional with my time and my actions. One month of no Yoga had me clicking around 1000 open tabs on my computer and feeling overwhelmed with my work.
I felt more judgemental
Yoga gave me the most amazing gift, and that gift was self-acceptance. The way we practice and teach Yoga inside MerryBody is teamed with the mindset work of self-acceptance. This method changed my life and that’s why we teach it now. Self-acceptance is a powerful practice that not only allows you to free yourself of judgement, you also stop judging others and become more accepting and compassionate.
So when I stopped Yoga for a month my old patterns and habits crept up on me. My inner critic began to put me down more often and the judgemental thoughts of others began to slip into my mind.
So what did I do when I realised what ‘no Yoga’ had created?!
I got back on my mat. I didn’t dwell on the past or beat myself up for my inconsistency. I accepted that what had been had been and NOW is the only time I need to focus on.
I asked myself: ‘what step can I take?’ and that small step was simply rolling out my mat and pressing play on a 10 minute Yoga class. As soon as I got into that first downward facing dog it was like I was home. My body and mind remembered, ahhh this is why we do this!
Fast forward 6 months and my consistency is back on track. I do 1-3 online Yoga classes a week and that is a great amount for me right now.
Sometimes we have to ‘fall off’ to remember why
I don’t like the saying ‘fall off the wagon’ maybe it’s more like… ‘sometimes we have to forget to remember why’.
I don’t see this break in my Yoga practice as a bad thing. You see, it allowed me to realise just how much my Yoga practice gives to me and my life. It allowed me to remember my WHY. This break provided the most amazing motivation to help me prioritise my Yoga practice.
I now have an even deeper understanding and awareness of myself and what Yoga brings to my life and for that, I am so grateful.
P.s if you’d like to start a Yoga practice, then come and flow with me! Our online classes inside MerryBody are perfect for all levels and really easy to follow! Download the App here and activate a Free 7 day Trial!