I have always enjoyed yoga. Over the years, I have done many a downward dog. But there has never been a regularity to my practice. The odd class here or there when one of the kids’ activities gets cancelled, that’s about it. During the summers, I do more classes than in the winter, so it is somewhat seasonal. My osteopath strongly recommended I do the cat and cow stretches every day. So, I have been doing those for a good few years. But then… lockdown.
Yoga has now become a daily morning routine. The odd day I skip it - due to work deadlines or I get distracted by the kids and then the day is suddenly gone. Nighttime arrives and I feel there’s something missing. So I’ve begun a mini yoga night time practice if I miss the morning one.
My online yoga teacher is young and beautiful but not annoying in the slightest! I like her pace, her sense of humour, her gentleness. She has a phrase:
‘Move like you love yourself’
The first time I heard it, I froze on my yoga mat. We (I say ‘we’ although it is just me in my sitting room but that’s the power of the online class - it feels like a ‘we’) were moving from a standing pose to a sitting one and she said ‘move like you love yourself’ and I felt immediately emotional. What does it feel like to love yourself? What way do I move? How differently would it feel to move if I really did love myself?
I realised I was becoming proficient with my yoga poses but my transitions from one pose to another were awkward. There was no calm, no smoothness, certainly no love. So, I slowed down. I began to move from one pose to another in a gentler way. A kinder way. Dare I say it even a slightly sensual way. It felt good. It still feels good.
I caught sight of myself in a mirror the other day and I looked a little hunched and middle-aged (probably because I am!) but I didn’t tell myself harshly to ‘sit up straight’ like my mother used to. I told myself to ‘move like you love yourself’ and I took a deep breath and gently moved my shoulders up, around and back. I looked at the reflection again and yes, yer woman in the mirror has put on weight and needs a haircut and perhaps she’s a little sad looking around the eyes but… she’s learning about self care.
She’s learning to move like she loves herself…
Salt water mum
A Moodscope member.