A Little Change or Challenge

Lift your spirits with something new (grab your yoga mat)

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Last week I was feeling stuck in a rut. Bored with the endless winter and bored of my daily routine. I felt a bit grey and lacking in lustre.

Does this sound familiar?

I asked myself, what would feed my spirit right now? What do I need to do to feel more alive?

“Adventure” is one of our family values, probably the one that gets the least attention but it’s the one I dream of and yearn for. The freedom of my youth to travel whenever and wherever I want, to go dancing to dawn and beyond.  In my mind, my alternative reality is vibrant, heady and, basically, just different to the daily grind.

With 3 kids and a truly heroic mortgage behind us, Big Adventure ain’ t going to come knocking any time soon. So what to do?

An old teacher of mine once opened his class asking us to think of one thing that we were looking forward to – a holiday, a social engagement, finishing a course maybe. Then he pointed out that all the things that we were anticipating involved an element of change – a change of scene, a new beginning, a new experience.

I went back to this last week when preparing my own yoga class and expanded this idea to include Challenge.

Sometimes all you need to make your life feel more adventurous and feed your spirit is a little Change or Challenge.

On the mat, this can be as subtle as you like as even tiny changes can open your mind and allow space for new ideas and opportunities.

Here are a few ideas

  1. Start small – if you are in a class, choose a different spot for your mat. We are creatures of habit and tend to gravitate to the same place. Crazy stuff, I know! But just moving your mat to a different place and making it your intent to change your practice that day can have a truly mind-shifting effect.
  2. Breathe – in a way, in every pose, that opens your mind and body to change. Yes this sounds bonkers but give it a go.
  3. Be Silly – do something that makes you feel really silly. Get into a pose you can hold for a while and try Lion’s Breath.  Inhale through your nose. On your exhale, open your mouth wide, stick out your tongue all the way down towards your chin and pant “HAH” loudly. Release the tension in your jaw, your face and enjoy feeling like a complete tit while doing so. It is only yoga. Life is so serious already so make sure you have some fun on the mat.
  4. Dare – try a new pose or transition that challenges you.

In our class last week, we practiced the transition High Plank to Side Plank to Wild Thing. Wild Thing is a great pose and the Sanskrit name, Camatkarasana, can be translated as “the ecstatic unfolding of the enraptured heart”. Doesn’t that sound like something you want to do?!

Wild Thing strengthens the entire body and opens the chest and heart area, the areas we really want to focus on when we’re feeling flat. You cannot be flat in Wild Thing. You can find a step-by-step how to of this pose here.

Change and Challenge can come in any form, you know what will light YOUR fire.

Personally, I have an idea on the back burner for taking my yoga classes abroad but that needs to simmer a while longer.

In the meantime, I have signed myself up for two 10k runs. Having not run in several years, I reckoned this was a good way to embrace change and challenge myself and I already feel more heart full.

I would love to hear if this has article has inspired you to make any changes, however small, or take on a challenge to feed your spirit.

Sending ALL the positive and adventurous vibes your way.

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