Journalling on the yoga mat

I’ve kept a journal for as long as I can remember. Over the years, my journals have held many ridiculous imaginings, fuelled some wild daydreams, and served as a place to sort through my problems (big and small). My journal is the place where I cannot hide from my thoughts or feelings. It is where my deepest truths fall out, even the ones that I’m most afraid of facing. The act of writing gives me perspective, and allows me a space to explore both the most mundane and the most intense experiences.

 

But I have another journal of a different kind: my yoga mat. Each time I step onto the mat, my body tells a story. I become aware of sensations in my muscles and joints that I may not notice (or choose to ignore!) during the rhythm of a typical day. It’s easy to travel through our daily schedules without paying attention to the effect each movement has on the physical body, not to mention the emotions we hold within. I can ignore a slight pain in the hip, some stiffness in the neck, or a nagging tug at the hamstrings as I go from one activity to another. But on the mat, as I begin to focus on my breath, and the framework of the postures, I can’t avoid feeling imbalances or tensions that have arisen in my body. And as I move through my yoga practice, I can consciously work towards bringing my physical (and mental) self back into, or closer to, alignment.

 

The days when I least feel like rolling out my mat are often the days when I need my yoga practice the most. Just as my journal provides a place where I can sift through my thoughts and let the page hold them in plain view, my yoga mat is the space where I can sort through what my body needs at any given time.

 

Do you use your yoga mat as your physical journal? What story does your body tell?

 

 

This week’s Monday meditation is about letting go. There are always things we hold onto tightly. We might have ideas or habits or relationships that we are scared to let go of because we think they define who we are. Opinions and beliefs that we are so invested in that we can’t see beyond them. Or we may simply have ways of thinking or doing things that we feel we can’t change because we don’t know any different.

 

From small choices or actions to deeply ingrained habits, there are always aspects of our lives that we can let go of. By recognizing – and letting go of – these behaviours, thought patterns, emotions, expectations and interactions that no longer serve us, we can adapt, change, and discover new perspectives.

 

Sometimes it’s painful to let go, sometimes it’s frustrating and difficult, but more often than not – when the letting go has happened – we feel a sense of freedom, ease and potential for positive growth.

 

This week, turn your thoughts to the idea of letting go. What do you feel is weighing you down, holding you back, or keeping you stuck? If you need a little help, here’s a mini guided meditation to get you started. Another activity that is extremely helpful is writing down daily things you’d like to let go of.

 

Here’s to letting go. May it be a freeing kind of week.