Well, it’s that time of year again when we have to have a good spring clean, and nothing needs a refreshing spruce up more than our thoughts. Often the thoughts can get in the way of yoga practice and many times we all wish we could quieten the mind, which is essentially what yoga aims to do. Regular Barefooter and yoga teacher-in-training Charlotte Ireland shares her thoughts on the meaning of her yoga practice.
It’s always a great idea to do an internal check-in with yourself. We can so easily forget, in our busy day to day lives, to check how we are feeling as we are so busy getting carried along on life’s frantic current. So with the idea of spring cleaning my work on the mat I thought I would share my reflections on the yoga journey over the past year.
The biggest thing that stood out for me was the essence of true yoga that Barefoot has brought to me. Yoga may have originated with true yogis denouncing their lives and heading off to live in a cave. But yogas principles of being one and having a unity has certainly been a huge part of my life recently.
I, like many came to yoga through a situation in my life, and yoga has given me a community. I’m sure you have all heard me chatting away in the changing room and laughing my way up the stairs. Yoga might be an individual practice but it is a universal experience. We join together to perform asana and we continue the other limbs of yoga through our unity as the yoga community.
Friendship and connection blossoms through our shared practice and we all develop a shared energy and vibrancy with each inhale and exhale. We all laugh over postures we may find tricky and the environment feels so safe that you may even (after a strong back bend practice or hip opening sequence) cry and open up about things that may be a concern to you at the time.
We are aware that our practice is individual and the focus is internal, on our own experience on the mat. However I believe that having the shared love, passion and enthusiasm surrounding me means that yoga and reaching a state of calm, elation and peace is easier.
I spent so many years feeling lost and alone – with yoga you are never alone. The supportive caring atmosphere means that I found a family at a time I felt that I couldn’t connect to anyone let alone myself. Yoga has allowed me to connect deeply not only with myself and my body, but it has given me the ability and the joy of connecting with such a variety of amazing people.
So looking forward to putting a spring to my step for the rest of the year, I’m not making any resolutions like at the start of a new year, I’m not going to judge myself like that but simply look at it as a refreshing time to see what is yet to be discovered. I’m dusting away the negative and polishing up my positivity. Tidying up all the mind clutter so that I can try and live more in the moment and seize every opportunity that comes my way.
I see the rest of the year in all ways as my asana practice.. There will be moments that feel tough where I feel I will never reach the right posture or right place. Times that life will be a smooth and easy flow, bringing joy and energy and warmth. Moments where I wobble or fall and moments where in the end I have to turn it upside down and on its head. So here is to the rest of 2016 fellow yogis let’s embrace the adventure and with each moment and every breath, let go of all negative and breathe in positivity.
Did this post resonate with you? Hannah Burman’s Hypnoga workshop is happening Sat 23 April, 2-5pm – come spring clean your soul and discover the healing magic of your own positive affirmations.
Photo Credit: Smore