At this time of year for many the only constant in life is the added stress the Holiday season adds to busy lives. For those of us who have some sort of consistent self care practice, be it Yoga, meditation, exercise or and other way we take time for ourselves to create a more balanced and centered life, this season can seem to threaten the gains we have made.
I invite you to see this in a different light. The challenges we face during this and every situation are our opportunity to be reinforced, instructed and rewarded for our efforts. As our skill, comfort and consistent habits build in our practices our time on the Yoga mat or mediation cushion can and ought to be rewarding in and of itself with immediate benefits of easier movement, physical tone and bodily comfort or greater calm and inner peace. That alone is a powerful draw to continue and deepen practice for many.
More importantly, the habits built by our practice can offer rewards even greater than this. In a practice based on Self-awareness we are reinforced cosistently in re-collecting ourselves, rediscovering our center in within a busy life that can seem relentlessly stressful. Sometimes the gains we make can be too subtle to be noticed in the moment and other times they are clearly recognized.
So many of my students tell me of times they are aware of just feeling and being different in stressful circumstances, feeling even under stress they have some sort of perspective and insight they doubted they could have accessed before they began doing their practice. They can be as basic as being able to cook all day for a family gathering without the familiar exhaustion or physical pain they would likely have otherwise occurred. In other cases they have reported feeling more able to enjoy the “difficult” relative or manage the stressful family problem that would have “ruined” the day previously.
or the newcomer creating and sustaining a practice that can serve us in all these levels can seem daunting, especially if we try to imagine some perfect scenario and lifestyle into which a practice needs to fall. Instead most of our lives aren’t built initially to for this. So a weekly yoga class, and occasional retreat or workshop are how we build the muscles to sustain a more robust commitment to our selves.
As with any commitment it takes making a fundamental decision to make room for what we will need to do and negotiation with the others in our lives to hold that space. Most importantly dealing with the internal reistance that may appear as we make these changes can be its own project for many.
The end of working within our existing relationships and resistances to develop a responsible Yoga or meditation practice it is not necessary or even advisable for most of us to be Herculean in or commitment. As I have written elsewhere: “from a five or ten minute calm sitting in the morning, a mindful walk at noon, a weekly Yoga class experience daily sadhana (spiritual practice), we are benefited from some sort of skillful manner of checking in with ourselves. As the mind clears, the body strengthens and our energy reserves are buoyed, the commitment to our own path of inquiry can deepen. It soon becomes not a question of whether, but just how and when we will one take this time to come home to ourselves.”.
Individual and group Yoga classes are available in the Guilford, Madison, Branford and New Haven and Woodbridge Connecticut areas. I also specialize in employing Yoga and other powerful energetic, meditative and relaxation practices that offer non medical support and therapy to help with stress management and mitigating the physical and mental effects of long term stress.
For a free no risk consultation for answers to your questions or help deciding which services may best meet your needs please call me, Alan Franzi at (203)488-1700(203)488-1700(203)488-1700(203)488-1700.