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Stop…..Look around…..What do you see?

So folks how is your 2017 going for you? We aren’t quite at the half way mark yet but we are certainly nearly there, definitely worth a moment to check in so here is mine.

This morning I woke up feeling cranky – I had a foggy head from a couple of glasses of wine the night before, my shoulder and wrist was feeling sore so I had to accept that going out on my boat was not going to be a good idea and  in general I was feeling a touch sorry for myself. So I pulled on the trainers, grabbed the dogs and went out for a run. It didn’t start well, my knee began to hurt, as did my feet and I felt tired, I almost turned back, instead I turned up the music (soundgarden if you wish to know) and made myself continue onwards. When I got to the top and found myself on the ridge line I had a moment of absolute clarity and I saw then what I needed to do. My spirits lifted and my energy returned, as I ran I planned what I was going to do.

20017 so far has been a mixed bag of ups and downs. My work is amazing, I have a book of clients whom I love to work with, who challenge me, who interest me and whom never fail to inspire me; teaching nourishes me in a way that I can not really describe. However, my teaching schedule is pretty full on right now, I have no complaints about this but it has meant that my self practice and self care has been squeezed big time. I travel a fair degree for my work and am invariably carrying a bag. It feels to me that for most of this year I have been on the go and I am feeling it. Add to that the pressures of living in Hong Kong, a city that I love but some days can feel quite hard work to exist in. So this morning I made a commitment to myself –  it was time to find more space to heal, it was time to get inspired, it was time to give back to myself.

Tomorrow I am attending a retreat day with my wonderful Integral Yoga buddies and I know that this is the perfect way to inspire me and to help me renew my own practice and then starting on Monday  I am going to commit to a 30 day Sādhana* and I invite you to join me. Keeping it simple, no fancy hashtags, no fancy practices – just pure and simple yoga.

My commitment to myself is this:

Daily meditation & pranayama – It is time to get back to my daily practice – no excuses! I will aim to get up 15 mins earlier each day, I will give myself the space to sit, to breathe & to be still before the day starts. On the days where I am up and out the house very early I will use my ferry ride for my practice.

Asana – It is time to give my body some rest, no handstanding or arm balances until my wrist feels ok again. It is time to therapy myself with a carefully thought out program involving non weight bearing postures, yin and restorative yoga. However little time in the day I have, I will step onto the mat, using blocks, blankets and a bolster I will support myself and allow myself to feel renewed each time.

Diet – I aim to eat a yogic diet as much as possible. This involves cutting down on the sugary snacks, packing healthy lunches for me to eat when I am out all day and sticking to a vegetarian diet (I have not eaten meat for 25 years but I do eat some fish every so often). Most of all I am going to not drink – I really don’t drink very much and so I have always felt this wasn’t something that I needed to do but I know that even the small amount that I do affects me, so for 30 days I shall stay away from the beer & wine.

Lifestyle – I suspect I may not get onto the water much in this period which I know will drive me crazy, instead I will commit to getting out into the nature through walking and running. But beyond that I aim to be more connected to this world through action, through really observing and seeing what is happening around me. I will endeavour to be more mindful in all that I do, for example – to leave the house 10 minutes earlier for a ferry so I am not in a rush and to take longer over eating a meal. I also plan to have one day/week for a digital detox – by that I mean no facebook, no instagram and no online news (I know that this will be hard for me, I know that because there is already an internal debate going on over what day of the week I shall do this on!) and finally, whilst I will allow myself the odd bit of netflix, it is time to return to the pile of books that has been gathering dust.

Self Care – I have started seeing an acupuncturist and I aim to continue with this and see where it leads to. I also aim to include more self massage and self myofascial therapy into my practice – more on this to come.

And of course I will share it with you all along the way. Which brings me to the next part of this piece. Maybe you are feeling a little stuck, maybe like me, you suddenly have realised that 2017 is passing by without a moment for a breath and that you need to set some time aside for yourself and that it is time make a few changes. In which case do join me, feel free to share with me your goals, aims and practices however small they may be, feel free to share with me your personal Sādhana. It could be something so small, so simple. You do not need to do all that I have committed to doing, you can simply decide that you are going to try to be more mindful, perhaps you will download the headspace app to help you or you are going to reboot your asana practice by joining a yoga studio and committing to a certain number of classes/week. It doesn’t matter – they say it takes 21 days to form a habit, so give yourself the reset you need by making a few changes with the sole aim to do it for 30 days and see how you feel at the end.

Perhaps though you do not know where to even begin, it feels too overwhelming, too much to even think about. No problem, I would be happy to talk with you and to discuss in what ways you wish to reset your year. We could start with a skype call which will be priced according to your budget (skill shares are also available – a massage in exchange for a series of skypes maybe) in which we would talk about where you are, where you want to get to and creatively think about what are realistic ways for you to get there. In other words I would help you start your own Sādhana. I will support you and help you along the way. The reality is we will all be in it together, the joy of a shared journey is that even though the work is ours to do and ours only, by sharing with others our struggles and joys, we feel less alone, we feel more inspired and we feel able to keep going.

Please note that I do not consider myself a life coach, nor a counselor or anything like that but I do know how much life can be changed by bringing in daily habits and I do also know how hard it can be to stick to them. I also know the strength of committing to a yoga practice, not for any other reason than to simply feel empowered and well within yourself.

Om shanti x

* Sadhana means daily spiritual practice. It is the foundation of all spiritual endeavor. Sadhana is your personal, individual spiritual effort.

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