Yoga in the heatwave… and after

feet in the riverWe had a heatwave in England recently. I loved it! I am definitely solar powered. I come alive when the rest of the country is wilting. And practice feels different in my body. Muscles just feel nicely stretchy from the outset. I don’t know that I move more deeply within any particular āsana, but from the start of practice I’m more comfortable and all things feel possible, even when in my head I’m sure they’re not! This almost makes me wonder if I should do more classes in the hot room. My studio offers this and I don’t take advantage very often. Maybe I should see if a consistent hot practice feels nice? Sure the teaching baffles me a bit, but I reckon I’m capable of figuring out what I need to do. Hmm, maybe. If only there were more hours in the week…

Teaching my own students during the hot weather was interesting. They hate being hot! So plenty of soothing comments about how sweating during practice isn’t bad, it’s not something to be embarrassed about, and I’m definitely used to it and don’t find it yucky. Plus it was a good moment to talk about how to use ujjayi and sitali breath to aid temperature regulation. Always a teaching moment!

Now the weather’s turned and it’s back to the seasonal average. Nothing lasts. But it was nice not needing a hot water bottle in bed for a few nights at least! And onto a new phase of things. My practice turns from the sublime to the ridiculous as the heatwave disappears but my in-laws appear for a week-long visit. We give up our bedroom to the elderly relatives while we sleep on the floor in the spare room. My practice space turns into a pile of their suitcases.

clothes boxMy accessible worldly possessions are reduced down to a box containing some work clothes and a slightly larger amount of yoga books! So āsana practice is difficult, there’s literally not enough room to roll out the mat. I make do, with a bit of nifty scheduling and lots of acceptance that this is a temporary situation before normal life resumes. Plus I had plenty of study to occupy me and I’m very skilled at doing that in bed!

The in-laws depart and there’s one glorious, leisurely practice before I keel over and spend more time hunched in the bathroom than stretching on the mat… That too passes.

atha yoganusasanam

And now I’m almost ready to resume practice again, enjoying the sense of new beginning after an interval. Before I can get back on my mat there’s a class to teach. We chant atha yogānuśāsanam, because I’m running a little theme about beginnings and because the sense of horizons about to open strikes me over and over in my practice. And now. And now. And now…

Tomorrow’s a new day. It brings a workshop at my local studio with an amazing guest teacher under whose eye I feel equally excited and daunted to practise. I hope my body’s up to it; it will be if my mind doesn’t overplay things.

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