So I’ve been going through some changes over the last few weeks and months with regards to my spiritual practice / growth. I’ve had some really good sessions with my Dad / mentor and I feel like I am, for the most part, making real progress. I am much more self-aware, I am eating well and training religiously and I’m reading loads.
A couple of months ago I talked to my Dad about how I felt the need to do more yoga; not only because I am massively inflexible but also because I felt that it would help me so slow things down more. While my yoga practices were few and far between, I was aware that I always felt complete bliss after a session on the mat.
I decided to give it a go but after a week or so I came to the conclusion that I just could’t stick to it. The call of the highly intense, very physical training that I am used to was just too great and so I went back. As soon as I resumed one of my Insanity workout programmes I felt like I had come home; training hard is what I know and anything else just feels foreign to me. For a month I felt fit and strong and motivated, getting up every day at 6.30am, I had regained a sense of purpose. I reasoned that I’d balance it out with some yoga in the evenings because with the hard training came more tightness in my muscles. Then after a month I got ill. Everywhere was aching, I got a cold, I felt exhausted and I couldn’t train; my body was telling me to stop. Even with the best of intentions I rarely fitted in the evening yoga sessions and when I did it felt counter-intuitive, creating tension in the muscles in the morning, only to try and stretch them in the evening. It was like I was at war with my own body.
A couple of weeks ago, as I walked over to the local coffee shop to meet my Dad, I mused over my dilemma. I knew something had to change but I couldn’t see what. My Dad and I chatted for a while and I remembered that the previous week he had told me about a new training routine that he had started doing. My Dad is like me (or I am like him), his training is very physical, although he has always balanced this out with daily yoga sessions – he has done for years; in his 50s he is much fitter than me. Anyway, he explained that he’d realised that the physical stuff wasn’t serving him anymore; after a session his adrenalin was racing making it difficult for him to settle into his writing routine which required him to be quiet and tranquil. His solution; to focus 100% on yoga and meditation along with a new breathing technique that he had learnt. He told me how hard the transition had been; that letting go of his old way of training was like saying goodbye to an old friend.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, it just clicked; this was what I needed to do. I already knew it, I had already started doing it but had mistaken the first sign of discomfort as a sign that it wasn’t right for me and backtracked. Everything instantly seemed clear to me and from that day almost 3 weeks ago, I have done nothing but yoga and gentle walks with the dog. It has been weird and my body has resisted the change. I have felt bloated and tired and looked in the mirror and imagined that I have gained 10lbs (I haven’t gained a single one); my ego is telling me that this isn’t for me and that I need to go out for a run. But on the other hand, where as in the past I lacked consistency with my yoga, now I am bounding out of bed before 6.30am, I already feel stronger and I am noticing very small changes in my flexibility (very small, I have such a long way to go). I am also finding time most nights to do a short session before I go to bed. And logically I know that I don’t need to worry about weight gain because this is completely dictated by my diet
Whilst before I was struggling to contain my temper when my little girl misbehaved, now I feel so much calmer and am handing her in much gentler, kinder way whilst still enforcing the boundaries. It makes complete sense to me; everything I do it fast (including how I previously exercised), I am highly strung, easily stressed, I find it difficult to relax. Now I feel like everything is slowing down, I can see more clearly and I am making some room in my life to do the things that I really want to do.
That’s not to say that I’ll never go back to the Insanity type stuff again. I have been training for over 3o years, most of my life, and it has always evolved depending on where I am and what I need in my life. But for the moment, I know that this is exactly what I need and I am so excited to see where is leads. I also can’t wait to be able to hold an unaided handstand but that is my ego talking.