More joy, less effort

A coincidence of reading a (highly controversial!) research paper about the personality type most often associated with ME/CFS and the associated habitual swinging pattern of activity levels (overdo it then need to rest, then get bored/frustrated so overdo it again…) plus advice from my teacher on handling my current emotional reactions to backbends (even out the effort across the practice, don’t go so deep, or push yourself so near the edge):-

Both things point in the same direction: don’t boom then bust, try for a middle way, less striving towards some impossible perfect, less emphasis on being always strong and in control. (I know that’s illusory anyway…)

Yoga gives me the opportunity to practice new behaviours on the mat, and learn how to apply them in life. Or vice versa. I don’t mind which comes first, as long as I keep figuring it out!

So I’m trying to keep practice lighter and invite joy wherever I can. Less physical effort, more enjoyment of just being where I am. This can be really hard, but setting a conscious intention can actually make it surprisingly easy. If it’s what I’m aiming for in practice, I can let go of the weird guilt that comes up at feeling happier! Gosh, the knots I tied myself into sometimes!

gayatri mantra.jpgToday I found myself grinning a lot in class, so that’s good. And finally a hilarious Śavāsana with a very groovy version of Gayatri Mantra playing. I just sang along, it was so very catchy. I think my teacher was doing the same and it would have been the Coolest Thing Ever had the rest of the class spontaneously joined in. 🙂

I was still singing as I headed into the shower. Tiled walls give great acoustics, and a few heads turned. Oh well! I was in a happy, happy place. And deservedly so!

A big contrast: one girl groaning theatrically as she got changed: “My god, he is trying to break us!” Interestingly different perceptions of class! I tried not to feel smug: I preferred where I was standing. Despite the fact that her practice looked fancier than mine ever will…

I’m not doing Sphinx Pose, I’m just enjoying the buttercups!

My bubbly Gayatri earworm continued throughout the day, much to Hubby’s frustration while we were in the car and he couldn’t escape! Traffic jams and enforced passive-japa practice don’t go well! We’d headed out after class for a picnic-walk since the weather in UK is surpassingly lovely this weekend.

So if less effort, more conscious joy-making, and a bit of letting go of cares in Śavasana made me feel so happy throughout the whole day, I’d sacrifice deeper āsanas for that!


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