Since coming home to Adelaide, headstands (and yoga practice) have been few and far between. Stuck in the badlands where life ‘just happens to you’ (snort), my practice had become sporadic at best, and I felt the obligation to do yoga, rather than my previous longing. I wanted to want to do yoga, yet couldn’t muster the mental energy – a catch 22, as intellectually I know the practice of asana will actually provide the physical and mental energy I’m looking for. My go to excuse was that I’d been locked into the daily monotony of nine til five city life and just ‘can’t find the time’ now that life is so busy. And although my head admonished me that ‘not having enough time’ was a lame excuse and a load of BS, my stubborn heart still didn’t want to release or start moving and shifting that stagnant attitude and body. So I ran back and forth from head to heart, rattling the bars to get something to shift.
Luckily, I had a bit of external motivation to help me overcome my ‘no yoga’ self-imprisonment. After recently being invited to teach yoga at a weekend health and wellness retreat in the Adelaide Hills, I put aside time each night to practice and go through the sequences I planned to teach. It was bizarre at first, feeling so disconnected and not having my body, breath and mind respond how it used to (another lesson on expectations and attachment in itself). But as I had committed to teach, I knew I had to keep going. I wanted to provide a smooth, enjoyable, rejuvenating class, and I had to start by feeling that myself. So, I talked aloud through each practice, cuing my imaginary students through each pose, saying what I felt was apt for my future class. Surprise, surprise…after a few regular bouts of yoga, I felt like I had more time. More space, energy, patience, love…a deeper well to draw upon. I’d known this intellectually all along, but it wasn’t until I accessed my inner-teacher that I started to remember this at the heart-level, the true point.
While I still have a way to go to get back into a beautifully regular practice, next time I won’t wait for that outside ‘push’ to get me going, nor will I continue to give myself a hard time for not being where I want to be.
We all have that ‘inner-teacher’ who sits somewhere between the head and heart, who understands us, who can guide us back on course, remind us of what we know innately. It is just a matter of opening up that door in between intellect and soul, and letting that beautiful combination walk free.
Here’s a headstand to celebrating my release.
Farewell Badlands, hello yoga.