Friday, 10 January 2014

Inner Peace

I started yoga back in September - I got lucky, a class opened ten minutes walk from home, at a time that fitted in nicely with preschool hours. I'd been seeing a women's physiotherapist to try and sort out some of my hip problems and various other post-birth issues, and it came up that my hamstrings are - and always have been - dreadfully tight. Running and karate encourage that tightness because they're high-impact, and swimming requires you to flex your ankle pointing downwards. And so bearing in mind that other muscles around my hip joints are too loose, I thought I'd give these Radiant Heart classes a whirl.

They do seem to be helping a great deal - my hamstrings are looser, I've learned how to stretch them before karate to prevent injury, and the class definitely helps me unwind from any abuse I put myself through midweek. It also gets me ready for weekend karate plus swimming. Jane is an absolutely lovely teacher and I've been grateful to find a class which is all about the inner peace and getting right with your body. It damps down my overly-competitive nature and I've been working hard on mindfulness and meditation in everyday life, too.

When I arrived this morning I was delighted to run into a friend, but it did bring out that inner competitor and performer for a little while. My brain filled up with "Oh, hell, am I doing this right? Can I make this pose? Will I fall? Is anyone looking?". Jane, thankfully, put a lot of emphasis on following your breath this morning and my daily meditation practice, recently boosted by reading some Thicht Nhat Hanh, saved me from going loopy. The need to perform, conform and excel fell away and I had a wonderful practice. It was shoulder-focused today, for which my post-run aching legs were very grateful. And I didn't fall asleep during savasana (corpse pose, the final relaxation), which is probably a first!

Pull-ups, push-ups and planks to do before bed; gis are ironed and ready for morning and my swimming kit is already packed for Sunday. I love weekends!