Letting your Practice Provide Nourishment
I have been waiting for the words to flow for this issues topic ‘ Nourishment and Nurture, yet interestingly they have not come easily. Maybe this is because I have found myself in a rebalancing space when it comes to my own nourishment and nurturing. In all honesty, this year has seen my time (or perhaps prioritisation) for self nurturing and nourishment whittle away as the day to day realities associated with being a working a mum took precedent. As such, in the last couple of months I have been reclaiming and prioritising ‘filling my cup’, which has lead to some interesting revelations. The most interesting of these revelations was the shape and direction my personal practice has naturally taken as my teaching commitments increased. It has shifted and morphed to fit and reflect specifically where I find myself on each given day. This shift in my personal life provided a doorway to deepen my practice and investigate exactly what my yoga practice is to me, and how to adapt it to provide nourishment for the soul.
There is always a risk that a daily personal practice of yoga can slip into the category of a ‘to do’ item, as in ‘I must get my practice done today’. In an effort remain disciplined we march our way through asanas we think we should be doing rather then tapping into where we our emotionally, physically and mentally, sensing what it is we really require in order to nourish and nurture ourselves on that day. Yoga should never become a chore, if it feels this way, it may well be time to step back and reflect on how your practice is presenting and whether you are carrying unrealistic expectation, both of yourself and your practice onto the mat (or meditation space).
Part of the practice is knowing that on days of fatigue (and during mensuration for women) a few simple poses eg supported bridge (Settu Bandhasana), reclined bound angle (supta baddha konasana) or a few seated shoulder openers with extended time in corpse (shavasana) or a seated meditation may well be more then enough for your practice. Equally said, on those days when our vibration is high and we are feeling energised allowing the body and mind to flow through a more dynamic practice or holding stronger standing poses e.g. warrior (vira) i, ii or ii and balance poses e.g. tree (vrkasana), extended hand to foot (utthita hasta padangusthasana) for longer will facilitate the even flow and distribution of your energy stores.
If nothing else, our practice should be honest and assisting us towards that state of flow that we all aim to reside in. In my personal experience the only thing that comes from using force is damage and disfunction. So practice well and let it deeply nurture and fill your cup, so that you in turn can nurture others.