If you used to practice yoga on even a semi-regular basis but then, for whatever reason, let it fall by the wayside, you’re not alone.
I first turned to yoga when I could barely breathe in my life. Two years ago, I was suffocating from the pain of a terrible loss, and yoga saved me. After six months, I walked differently, breathed differently, stood differently. I was different. I marveled at my flexibility and my ability to channel my breath, the light, my energy- whatever was called for- to the area of my body that needed it most. Then, I just stopped going.
Last week, I made a comeback. I’m a little older now and a lot heavier, and I spend much more time in child’s pose. I was ready to be physically challenged, but I wasn’t prepared for my mind to be so busy, so wrought with expectations, and so critical- obsessed with how my stomach looks and how my chest keeps getting in the way.
I long to be rooted in my practice again. To do that, I have to let go of what was and make room for my new practice, as different as it may be. So, I’ll follow a few simple rules that I hope will help you, and me, as we find our breath:
Find the right studio for you. It may be across town or in your own home, but it needs to be a place that actually lets you forget where you are.
Wear fitted clothes. Although tempting, loose clothes will really get in your way. Forget how you look and focus on how you’ll be able to move without all the extra fabric.
Don’t hold your breath. People have a tendency to hold their breath when they can’t wait for something to be over. Live in each moment of your practice.
Be patient with yourself, your mind and your body. They’ll all come around in time.
Here’s a little yoga humor to help you relax.
Written by Natalie Sullivan
Natalie is a lawyer by training and a writer by heart. She lives in Harlem, NY with her most devoted fans – her husband and her dog.