Monday, May 3, 2010

As the weather changes ...

... So does the human body. Recently Sydney has experienced very warm autumn days instead of the cooling down we're meant to have, and I've definitely seen some 'confusion' in my students' bodies. On Easter weekend and the recent Anzac Day weekend people seemed to be particularly tired - not necessarily because they've had more than usual to do in their daily lives, but because their bodies were not responding well to the unseasonal weather.

Everything around us has an affect on our asana practice and, by extension, our yoga practice. The moon (particularly full and new moons) and the weather all affect the ecosystem of the human body. I always encourage my students to listen to their bodies over and above what I'm asking them to do in class, and the same goes for their home practice: listen to the body over the head.

With the weather now appearing to be turning at last towards cooler days, muscles will get a little tighter and the greater inclination to curl up on the couch will have its effect on hips and lower backs. These subtle changes can have a big impact on your practice, so the key is to always practise mindfully and not be too focused on the form of the asana - go with the feeling instead. While ever you're aware of how you're feeling, how your prana is flowing or not flowing, you will have a wonderful practice. That includes the days when you feel like you just want to sit and meditate for a while, rather than practise postures. It's always worth reminding yourself that yoga is not just asana.

- Sophie Hamley