How a 21st Century Working Woman Starts An At Home Yoga Practice

You are a busy women. Raising kids, working, sometimes working two jobs. Sometimes more. Struggling with bills. Tough. Then some smarmy hippie or yuppie type suggests you try yoga for all those aches pains and kinks age has brought on. Its a little harder getting up in the morning and to pick up that box. Hangovers take two days to clear up and a day of hiking wipes you out.

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You kinda laugh. Yoga. As if you didn’t know already. Really cool but where are you going to get an extra 50 or 60 quid and 12 to 56 hours a month (unpaid). You long for the contemplative calm and peace you know yoga can bring. You joined a one month beginners introductory class last year with your Christmas bonus. Unlike previous times when you managed to go only twice you stick it out till the end. After the first 2 hour workout you sleep all day. You start to feel great at the end of the month. But Junior had music lessons AND football practice. It played havoc with your schedule.

You tell yourself you can do yoga at home. Its the early 21st century. There’s YouTube, internet and Blueray. You buy a DVD, subscribe to several yoga channels on YouTube. Its hard to keep up, its hard to flow when you’re busy trying to watch the screen. You wonder if you’re getting it right. There’s no feedback. A one hour session takes almost two hours of fumbling. And It still plays havoc with your schedule. After a week the DVD lies forgotten beside the Jane Fonda and the Chillates DVD.

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The creaking bones get louder. The long evening walks aren’t enough. You know you need yoga. You need to get over the inertia of doing yoga at home alone so you start real small. You set up a yoga corner first. Just a space to stretch out your mat and your body and some fresh air. That’s. All. Forget the ‘large sunny well ventilated room’. You live in a box. Then every morning soon as you get up you go there and get into child’s pose. Its the simplest pose. That’s all that your frazzled body and soul can handle right now. You hold it for as long as you can. At first its only a couple minutes. Your monkey mind jumps around the whole time. But it doesn’t matter to you. You are doing yoga. You’re pleased. Soon you’re doing 5 minutes everyday.

 

Think of babies, before stuff gets them all uptight and inflexible
Think of babies, before stuff gets them all uptight and inflexibl

 

Then you start to stay in the pose longer. And mindfully focusing your body and breathing. Monkey mind stays quite longer each time you’re on the mat. You feel more and more comfortable. You remember the other poses you learnt in yoga class. One morning you slide out of Child pose into the Plank then the Cobra and then down into Down Ward Dog. You’re elated! You just accomplished a flow even tough your arms quiver, and you held your breath and each pose for less than ten seconds!

 

The Plank
The Plank

 

Six weeks later and you’re doing 20 to 30 minsof basic flow at least 3x a week. Some days you really can’t face the mat but frequency is building up. You’re introducing a new pose every week or so. You learn some simple sequences on YouTube and expand your repertoire. Some weeks you actually manage to do some yoga daily. Sometimes you even do a sequence before bedtime or ten minutes during the day if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Yoga practice is slowly but surely becoming an organic part of your day without costing you extra money you don’t have or taking center stage of your life.

The Cobra Pose (and if you can keep that smile on your face it does help!)
The Cobra Pose (and if you can keep that smile on your face it does help!)

You wonder about the people that can afford to commit 1.5 or 2 hours a day (counting transit/ travel time) to yoga practice. You guess that’s why all really committed enthusiasts are instructors, studio owners, celebrities or under-employed. You say to yourself that If you  money from it you would spend 2 to 4 daily hours in the studio. You realize the expensive private yoga instructor you still think of as Kalashnikov Gandhi because he carried a gun doesn’t get yoga at all. He pushed you like a drill sergeant to overcome your body’s natural laziness till you injured yourself. Yoga isn’t about force and resistance. Its flow. Flow into it. Breathe into it

Downward Dog - Babies are natural yogis! I try to get back to that energy in yoga - uninhibited
Downward Dog – Babies are natural yogis! I try to get back to that energy in yoga – uninhibited

Happy flowing.

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