There is not doubt that 2020 was the year of resilience, where we floundered and flourished, tumbled and transformed, agonised and adapted in the face of fear, misfortune, change and uncertainty. Slowly we are resurfacing from its murky depths as we tentatively navigate 2021. Practising resilience is something we all do without thinking; its within us, an integral feature of the brilliant human spirit, a deep-seated impulse or inner force that we unconsciously call upon during the inevitable and inexorable knockbacks and heartaches we experience on our life’s journey. Just imagine we’d been presented with a roadmap of 2020 a year ago. Knowing what was ahead, we would probably have collapsed in a heap with our head despairingly in our hands, lamenting at the arduous journey ahead, but we didn’t; we adapted, gritted our teeth, soldiered on, hung in there, grinned and bore it, carried on regardless, triumphed over adversity, the idioms go on and on, but where do they come from? For thousands of years the human race has had to endure extraordinary hardship. And look where we are today – one year on. We are coming out the other side.
So what has this got to do with yoga? Our yoga practice is ultimately a metaphor for how we live our lives. Our yoga mat, like resilience, is accessible at any moment, a place where we cultivate strength, untangle knots and clear blockages so that the pathway ahead is unimpeded and more manageable. On our mat we practise attentiveness, self-compassion and exploration. We learn how to breathe efficiently so that we can navigate tricky situations. Think about our standing balances! We cultivate resilience every time we stand on one leg, desperately trying not to get cross when we wobble or fall over, utilising our breath to keep us calm and focussed. Sounds simplistic but it is a form of resilience.
How many times in your life have you said to yourself “how on earth did I get through that? Reslience! How many times have you dropped into Savasana at the end of your practice and said to yourself ”how on earth did I get through that?” Resilience – it’s a divine gift! Our comfort blanket and we all have it within us.
During this pandemic we have not only adapted our yoga practice, we have transformed it. Yes, it is via a screen, in noisy homes, with roaming pets and screaming kids but also it is on hand; you can roll out of bed into your sacred space, wearing your pyjamas. Nobody is there to compare yourself with or make you feel inadequate. In fact, for most of us this way of practising has led to a more consistent and meaningful practice. A true yoga practice that requires only what is fundamental to us.
Step out of your yoga comfort zone and join me on the mat for a series of mini workshops on resilience and arm balances. We will scaffold our way up so all welcome with some yoga experience. We will finish each session with a guided meditation on resilience and how to cultivate it. £7 or £2 for monthly unlimited students.
Please bring a few cushions, blankets and bricks/books to support you!
Sunday 7 March 9.30-11 am Crow and side crow
Sunday 18 April 9.30-11 am Shoulder pressure pose and firefly
Sunday 9 May 9.30-11 am Eight angle and flying pigeon pose