So August and September were an unplanned hiatus in my yoga practice. August was vacation and September was full of Jewish holidays and the start of the school year. Two months of no consistency and no routine! Thank Gd things are getting back to normal and yoga is, once again and very gratefully, a presence in my life.
As I am slowly getting back into my practice and teaching schedule, I had a real “light-bulb” moment about what has been obvious to me but I was having trouble explaining to others.
I have been engaged and engrossed in this world of Yoga Nashit for nearly 5 years, and as such I have forgotten what I knew (or didn’t know) before I started practicing and teaching. What I mean by this, is that the Yoga Nashit language, the physical, emotional and mental impact on me, the body-mind connection, and the deep self-awareness, has become such an integral part of my daily living that it was difficult to express clearly to others how it made me feel or how it had changed me.
However, as the days and weeks went on, and August turned into September, I slowly began to feel my body and mind “fail” me. It didn’t happen overnight, however by the time we were deep into September, I realized how much I had regressed, how much I had “lost” by not practicing yoga regularly. This helped me to really identify how Yoga Nashit has impacted my life, and how every woman can benefit from practice.
So below are my 3 big observations:
1. Totally stressed out and unable to see things clearly.
I am not the calmest of people by nature. As a working mum, with a busy family life, juggling two jobs, household stuff and the general craziness of life, my natural response in the past was to get overwhelmed, shout at my kids, not have enough time for myself or develop my relationship with my husband. For many women in this situation, they arrive at the end of the day feeling totally guilty because they weren’t the parent/spouse they wanted to be, because the work-life balance was totally out of wack, and there doesn’t really seem to be any way to change it.
Yoga Nashit however brings a wealth of tools that enable you to calm yourself, understand how juggling everything is a modern-day myth, and how you can choose what to do when – based on your understanding of your natural changes. Furthermore, deep breathing which is fundamental to any yoga practice, stimulates the para-sympathetic nervous system to kick in, biologically triggering the body to enter the “Rest and Digest” mode. Thus “Calming the Crazy” becomes a reality and not just some cute slogan.
2. Out of balance-Out of control.
Being at an age where my body is beginning to enter the perimenopause stage, things are changing. The truth is that our bodies are constantly changing. Whether it be teenage years and new beginnings, the stage of peak fertility or lack thereof, the beginning of perimenopause and slowly entering menopause stage, or the “Third Act” of menopause, post menopause and new found wisdom, each of these stages in our life cycle brings major hormonal changes which trigger emotional and mental changes.
If you don’t have an understanding or connection to these natural hormonal changes, you naturally feel out of balance when your hormones shift – which they do every day and every month! You can feel down or out of control, fired up and bursting with energy, or just a general unease and out of balance, without knowing why. You wake up in the morning not knowing what to expect, not sure what mood you are going to be in, and hence unprepared for the challenges you’ll face during the day.
Yoga Nashit helps to even-out those mood swings and emotional uncertainty. It teaches you how to map and monitor your hormonal changes, and pay attention to your shifting mood. Once you know what to expect from your hormones, you can then manage your day with more realistic expectations for yourself. You can decide how to deal with the reality of a situation because you know what to expect from yourself.
3. Aches and Pains.
I don’t suffer much with joint stiffness, back pains, or aches and pains in various parts of my body. I realise now why that is – It’s because I practice yoga regularly! Once I stopped practicing, all those aches and pains and joint stiffness that I was so smug about NOT having, came with a vengeance. All of a sudden I noticed stiffness in the morning getting out of bed or standing up from a chair. I experienced lower back pain every time I bent over, shoulder pain when reaching for something on a high shelf, and a list of other mild aches over my body.
It was my body’s natural way of telling me that it was time to go back to practicing Yoga. Yoga Nashit uses yoga poses and techniques as a tool for healing your body – physically as well as emotionally and mentally. BUT I didn’t realise how significant the physical healing was until I stopped! Yoga has a direct impact on your physical well-being – it’s that simple.
Now don’t get me wrong. My life is NOT butterflies and rainbows 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That would be unrealistic and unsustainable. However, not practicing Yoga for 2 months gave me the opportunity to be reminded of how yoga plays such an important role in my physical, mental and emotional stability.
I invite you to give it a try!