Bending So We Don't Break!
March is a month to be a warrior, not a worrier. This is the month named for the Roman God of War. As the spring solstice approaches and the snow melts, wars that were set aside for the winter would resume. This is the time for you to look within and find what you set aside that it might be time to pick back up.
A favorite book of mine called “Downward Dogs and Warriors” says yoga was created by Shiva to help people deal with the inevitable hardships that comes with life. The question then becomes what are we missing while we spend all this time playing catch up, running around and waiting for the right time?
Let’s embrace spring and find that thing we set to the side, maybe its spending time reading a book, journaling or exercising. Whatever it is, be a warrior and demand a space in your life for what you need. Self-care has become a very popular topic recently and its because this past year has shown us just how much we really need to check in with ourselves. There are so many analogies that speak to this; how can you fill someone else’s cup if yours is always empty? If we don’t take that moment to breathe and refill our cup, we can’t tackle that to do list to the best of our abilities.
One Saturday I mentioned to my husband that I was thinking of going to the spin and strength class at The Studio. I felt terrible about my selfish desire to go so I was ho-humming about it and avoiding opening the app to sign up. My reasoning was that I would be leaving him in the morning with our two kids and it would then be his job all alone to get them up, dressed, and fed. Usually we team tackle this on the weekends because my children are not morning people and they enjoy expressing their displeasure with tears and fighting.
While I was going back and forth on signing up, he finally looked me in the eye and said “babe, don’t take this the wrong way but you definitely should go you are always a lot more mellow the rest of the day after you have had your morning workout.” I had never noticed the connection before but by taking that time for myself, enjoying a space with other adults, I am able to engage and respond in a much calmer way. When I haven’t taken that time, I become short with my children as they try to get my attention while I am distracted by my to do list. I miss out on those little moments when they are excited about telling me a story because I can’t manage to get out of my own head.
If you have been to one of my yoga classes you have probably heard me say “We bend so we don’t break” and “How we act on the mat reflects how we act off the mat.” These two sayings are trying to tell us the same thing. If you force your yoga poses you will get frustrated because the pose won’t look or feel how you think it should, you will probably get hurt and end up feeling worse than before the class started.
If you can show your body compassion and ease into the poses, stop when your body tells you its time, and go further when your body feels ready to try, you can find that same compassion off the mat with yourself and those around you. We bend and flow on our mat so we know how to bend and flow off our mat.
So, let’s embrace our inner warrior, fight for that time, space or whatever it is that we set aside. Bring back that thing that is just for you, that thing that you set aside that you have been missing. Bring it back so that when life comes at you with that relentless force you will be ready. Let’s take our time to bend so we don’t break.