The courage of child’s pose

I was in a yoga class a few weeks ago when the instructor told me how she had been taught by her own instructor that child’s pose, the place of relaxation and rest when the class gets too tough, was the most courageous pose of all. 

I have known since I started my practice years ago that yoga doesn’t reward bravado. Your time on the mat isn’t about being the best in the room, stretching the farthest, staying in an inversion the longest.

Our human tendency toward pettiness or jealousy will still rise to the surface at times, though, making it difficult to eradicate when we need to rest. It’s all too easy to start comparing yourself to others in the room. To feel like you won’t give your body the rest it’s screaming for because you don’t want to appear weak, or to be judged by others in the room. The problem with this line of thinking? Once you allow it to infiltrate your brain, it opens the door to millions of other self conscious thoughts.

By allowing fear and doubt to dictate your decision making in your yoga practice, you’re unleashing it on the rest of your life. 

So have courage. Retreat to child’s pose when your body feels weak and weathered in class. Put your head on the mat and focus on your breath. And take that pose with you outside of the class.

When your heart feels heavy and overflowing, allow it to rest. Give it a break and some space. Same principle applies to your mind. To your friendships and relationships. To your inspiration, your creativity, your journalling practice. Whatever it is that you’re butting up against and wherever you might be encountering resistance, consider rest. With your forehead on the proverbial mat, gulping down air and releasing judgement, you’ll find a new way to return.

You’ll re-enter the flow when it feels right and natural, and those around you will always welcome you back in.

When an empty schedule is a blank canvas

healthy routines and scheduling

Starting something new is hard. 

We’ve been told all of our lives that new endeavors are difficult, that relationships take work, that success is hard earned. And it’s true, if that’s how you approach things. The to do lists will never end, because we live in an expansive world that creates more opportunities for us every day. That’s a beautiful blessing and a curse if you aren’t sure how to rein it in.

Still, being in charge of your own schedule and time is difficult.

Sometimes, although to do lists are there, it can feel like your schedule is too empty of the things you love and enjoy. Like you aren’t growing fast enough. Like you’re behind. You’re spinning your wheels and completing tasks, and yet the schedule doesn’t feel full enough and doubt starts to creep in.  Along with the doubt comes rapid burnout and frustration.

Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in my perceived ’emptiness’ of my schedule that I forget to see the bigger picture: that the expansive, unfilled space is just a blank canvas for me to create on.

That space is not a scary thing. It’s something I’ve created for myself to make messes in, to get dirty, to build relationships and have conversations in. To splash paint in beautiful and ugly colors all over. I can literally do whatever I want. It’s not empty-it’s blank. If I have four hours of unblocked time on my schedule for the day, that’s not failure. That’s success: because space and time to create and think is what I want most right now. 

Empty makes us feel defeated and burnt out, and blank grants us permission to let loose and create. Which will you choose today in your moment of overwhelm?

Ready to shift your life from responsive and burnt out to proactive creation? Schedule your free call with me now to see if Martyr to Mindful is the right fit!