In my own history, March is typically a month of shifts. I cannot pinpoint what it is about the month that brings about a new energy, a re-invigoration and a desire for change within me, but for some reason, March is where I actually DO the things I have been thinking or talking about for months.
I am inviting positive shifts in my life this year by signing up for the 30 day yoga challenge hosted by my home yoga studio, Inner Evolution Yoga and working through Rock Your Bliss’ 7 weeks to bliss program.
The first week of Seven Weeks to Bliss is focused on rooting and discovering what we define as soul values. One of my values is yoga, both on and off the mat. Mary Beth (one of the coaches) said something that resounded in my soul on the conference call. She said discussed re-establishing your mat as a safe place.
I have been thinking about this sentiment for the past few days. My gut reaction is to say that of course my mat is a safe place. However, as I make my way through these 30 days of yoga, I am confronted with the challenges that my mat has brought and why doing 30 days of yoga is in fact, a challenge.
I think it comes back to the intensity that I have been lacking in my yoga practice for the past few years. My practice has been very focused on home practices v. group ones. It has been much more yin than yang, it has been days of sitting in stillness and meditation v. vigorous vinyasa. It has been about restorative and healing yin classes more than hot, power classes. This is what I have needed as I have worked on healing and finding peace with what is.
However, I feel ready to shift. I have been attending more classes at my yoga studio as opposed to practicing home, alone. I have been making an effort to take more hot, power classes. I have decided to work through fears and attempt inversions here and there.
And I struggle with finding safety in that confrontation. I struggle with not comparing myself to others when I am on my mat and not thinking about where I “should” be in my practice. I struggle with being at peace with not attempting some poses that are cued and not labeling how my pose looks as “good” or “bad.”
One of my intentions for this month is to re-establish that safety in my yang practice. I feel very safe and comfortable in my yin practice. I remind myself that there was a time when stillness, quiet and going within was extremely intimidating and I avoided a more yin practice to avoid my thoughts. And yet, I practiced and practiced to make peace with myself. Meditation, long holds and the support of my mat has come to feel like home and comforted me through loss, grief and anxiety.
Can I find that same sense of safety in my yang practice? Can I find peace with not attempting certain poses or not judging them as “good” or “bad?” Can I step back from the judgements and comparisons and be at peace with where I am at, despite where I think I “should” be? Can I let go of those “shoulds” completely?
Hopefully, this month will continue the pattern of transformation that it has historically brought and re-establish that safety, for both yin and yang.