I was talking with my teacher recently about how wonderful I felt when I was on holiday. I felt physically much freer, more flexible and more confident in my energy and strength. I loved the fact that I went off for a morning run by the sea before it got too hot — and before Hubby had even woken up — with still enough energy for sightseeing and swimming. Well, maybe I took a siesta, but that also feels better in the Mediterranean summertime. I also loved playing with some strength drills by the pool, using the pool edge to lift and lower myself, exercises I’m exploring to help with the fancier yoga stuff I try. Hubby says I got some odd looks from the more laid-back holiday-makers, but I wasn’t bothered. I was happy doing my own thing. And I’m just not that fussed about how I look in my swimwear (a unique skill I have 🙂 ) so I never imagine anyone is really paying that much attention to me.
My teacher, master of the provocative (or unanswerable!) question, asked me how I might continue this holiday feel back home.
I’m still pondering this, knowing that partly it was the simple fact of the Mediterranean heat (which I can’t import to a British autumn) as well as the absence of most of my daily responsibilities to burden me and stiffen my shoulders. But I’m still wondering what more was involved. Is there something of my holiday mindset that I could nurture every day? Some greater lightness of being?
I thought of this again over the past weekend. We had a last gloriously warm day and we spent as much time outside as possible. A walk in the countryside, birdwatching and blackberrying, and even a quick paddle at the beach. Then before the chill of the evening some time in my parents large grassy garden throwing yoga shapes however felt good to me. No sticky mat to confine me, no mirror to give me alignment-anxiety, no hard surfaces to fall onto from inversions, no concern about sequencing or careful warm up. Just some rolling and jumping, falling and laughing, as though I’d wound the clock back a few decades to my childhood days playing in this very same garden. And to add to the childhood nostalgia, I ended up with a few bruises and grass stained knees! It was that holiday feel again, of moving without constraint, feeling more free and alive, childlike and uninhibited. No rules, no expectations.
I didn’t reach any grand conclusions yet about this ‘holiday feel’. But I’m entertaining this slightly sophistic thought: that I should work on being at home in my body every day, rather than feeling I need a holiday to enable me to enjoy it.