Recently I spent a couple of weeks without my regular yoga practice. It was a busy time finishing up my visit in California, then hosting my beloved sister and nephew in Amsterdam. With little space for myself, I found myself without asana (the physical, posture aspect of yoga) practice for about a fortnight.
I decided to view it as a cool experiment. Because ultimately, my aim is to not rely on yoga or other physical activities for balance and calm. This would be an excellent test: “what happens when we deprive the yogini of her favourite toy: yoga? Tantrums? Outbursts? Full scale meltdown?”
A few things happened:
– I went running more often, as a means of finding grounding in my body and freedom from thought.
– My sleep turned to crap, partly also due to this particular juncture in my life. Being in Amsterdam with visitors but without my own house, questioning intensively where I am meant to be and what I am meant to be doing. For a moment, surrounded by loved ones, I even pondered returning to root down in the ‘Dam. But quickly realized my heart belongs elsewhere.
– My emotions ran higher. I was more sensitive to everything and less in tune with my intuition.
– My heart raced faster, I stressed about all manner of crap much more. Coffee and wine became fast friends in the pursuit of energy maintenance.
The experiment was a raging, if disappointing, success. It revealed how eating well, having time to myself, getting regular sleep, and engaging in a regular yoga practice are a super important means of staying grounded.
Without these tools, I am nowhere near as happy or balanced. So in everyone’s interest but particularly my own, I’ll stick with them a bit longer.