Lets talk about the weather! 15th - 20th Feb 2021

Weather is something we have no control over. We have to just accept whatever the heavens throw at us. Its a reason for feeling SAD (seasonal affective disorder - yes - even has a label), an excuse for not going out in the fresh air, a source of endless complaint and occasional joy! While all of this is true think about what it engenders in our psyche - a fatalism perhaps - that we are all to some extent victims of fate - and the weather!

Do we apply this thinking in some way to our bodies, to our minds , our attitudes? How many things do we convince ourselves are just a certain way? I like this/don't like that/ scared of this that or the other, (heights(me!), Spiders(me!), my body won't do that, I can't change this or that habit........ and so on.

Changing our attitudes and habits is difficult.......REALLY difficult! Especially when we think that like the weather, we are not in control of them!

Think about your Yoga practice. On a physical level what is it asking of you? When we think in terms of what we can and can't do we miss the whole point. Instead if you listen out for the alignment cues ask yourself what are they really about? What is that instruction to root into my heel or rotate my ribcage for? Where does the action start from - where does it finish?

MY ANSWER - usually either from the ground or from the core - think about that in you practice - test that idea - see if you agree!

If we are only interested in creating a precise shape on the mat then there is no point to the practice. What we are actually trying to do is change our internal "weather". To unwind the physical habits of a lifetime, to challenge some of the beliefs we hold about ourselves. To do this takes endless repetition and practice - strengthening, lengthening, stretching, unwinding, twisting, breathing deeply in difficult places. It's not comfortable, its awkward and demanding, but as you deepen your practice you have these little epiphanies, where some deeper truth reveals itself, some space opens up inside! This small change can become a bigger shift and you realise that it's more than just physical, because you feel the connection between how the body is influenced on a really deep level by the mind.

All of these thoughts came from my weekend. On Saturday I looked at the freezing cold and the wind and thought "Nah" - and sat in a chair bingeing on a good book with the heating on all day. On Sunday I looked outside at the wind and the rain and said "OK" - to an hour and a half run, battling up the mountain, wanting to turn around and go home most of the way, but I felt my yoga practice kick in and deliver new strength, resolve and purpose not just physically but mentally - a voice that said - "it's OK to go really slowly because the wind is nearly blowing you over - work with the weather where you can and battle through where you need to! I won't say it was an enjoyable experience but I look at it as ground work/ foundations, for where I want to get to. Recognise the theme? Need I say more?



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