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From Then to Now

This is the fourth draft of this post. Why? Because it started off rather negative and the second draft sounded like a complaining child who wasn’t getting her way. And then the piece exploded into verbal diarreah which is the farthest from my intention for these digital pages.


In these reads, I hope to share with you the many ways that Yoga & Ayurveda have and continue to contribute to my healing and life-journey. No, every day is not all lollipops and rainbow, but that’s not to say that there isn’t an opportunity for gratitude and deep breath practice. In our modern society filled with busy lives that easily coerce us away from self-care, I want to be here to both demonstrate and teach how Yoga & Ayurveda are accessible philosophies that invoke whole body-mind healing.


Should that be of interest to you, keep reading.

My yoga practice (meaning asana, pranayama and meditation), has drastically changed in this past year. Where I once practiced, or taught, 2+ hours per day, has been reduced to a scant 10 - 30 minutes session(s) four to five times a week.


Why?


Well just over a year ago, I was the primary instructor at my yoga studio, Aumbience Yoga & Wellness in Halifax NS. I had scheduled classes five out of seven days per week, plus specialty workshops and/or trainings, plus time throughout the day for my own posture and breath-work sessions. In between time on my mat, I worked one-on-one with clients, or continued to study the philosophy and language of these two sister-sciences. That all changed when I had to unfortunately close the studio doors.


Now, I work a full time job Monday to Friday in a busy office, and in all honesty, I’m mentally and physically exhausted at the end of each day. The mere thought of cracking open a text book or practicing anything other than child’s pose or savasana, feels out of reach. And so my mat practices have become far less vigorous and dynamic, or yang like, and instead are filled will longer holds, lots of props and are much more restorative in nature.


Before, I’d pick a posture I wanted to ‘work’ on and create a sequence to help prepare my body to get there. Now, with my low back, hips and seat crying out for help after a full day of sitting, I’m practicing postures that gentle knead and invite deep release to those aching areas. No, I’m not getting nearly the cardio ‘exercise’ from the strong standing and vinyasa filled practices I once did, but I also don’t have the energy for that. There are days that my mind wants to push my body, and yes, sometimes it wins, but more and more frequently I’m finding the courage and strength to be gentle with mySelf.


When it comes to my studies, I’m spending more time in reflection than taking more information in. Again, at the end of a busy day, I feel like I hardly have the brain power to come up with a healthy family meal let alone learn anatomy, biology, kinesiology, and psychology in a foreign language (Sanskrit). I’m doing my best to soften to timelines and instead make space for my education through quietude. Where I once walked with ear buds in and a lecture playing, I now tune my ears to the sound of crunching leaves underfoot, train my eyes to notice the scarcity on tree limbs, and turn my face to feel the crisp cool breeze of Autumn.


My morning rituals are no longer focused on getting from the mattress to the mat, but instead to a gentle, warm oil self-massage (called abyhanga in Sanskrit) and a candle lit bath before making my way through the rest of the waking house.


Midday I turn my attention to my breath and either sing along with one of my favourite songs, or chant a mantra to myself. And new set of crystal signing bowls has rekindled my love for mantra, so I'm allowing myself time to 'play', when possible, in the fullest sense of the word.


And in the evenings before bed, my son and I pause and say aloud a simple message of thanks to someone or something that has helped us in someway throughout the day. This time of acknowledgement is truly a wonderful practice alone or with a loved one.


Yes, my yoga has changed A LOT this past year. But so have I and the circumstances around me. And if I have learned anything in my years of study and practice of these two ancient philosophies on life and living, it is that change is inevitable. All we can do for ourSelves is gather the tips and tools that best support us, and learn to apply them with loving-kindness.


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again : I’m not perfect, and I’m learning to be ok with that.


Yours truly, finding my way with Yoga and Ayurveda as my guides,

Michelle

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