Sunday love

If you're used to taking yoga classes - either online or at a studio - a self-guided practice might leave you floundering. A yoga teacher shares her experience...

yoga spirituality

I love Sunday. I make it my Day of Rest. I am loath to rush into a Sunday; I like to stretch out my toes under the duvet and snuggle my dog until we are too hungry to stay in bed any longer. I love the sense of the day unfurling in the same lazy way as I am.

I work on a Sunday morning, and (like most people) leave a lot of the housework and planning for the week ahead for some point later in the day. But every Sunday I have a definite, dedicated two hours in the afternoon to practise – and outside of practising class sequences and teaching preparation, it might be the only practice I do all week.

The beginner’s mind

As a result of becoming a teacher, it can be hard sometimes to approach asana with a beginner’s mind; often I will start moving and think, “This is good, how should I teach this?” And very soon I am constructing a pedagogy of poses rather than practising presence.

So on Sundays there is no plan. I come to my mat playfully, prayerfully, full of hunger and thirst for the thing that I love most: that which nourishes and sustains me.

On Sundays there is no plan. I come to my mat playfully, prayerfully, full of hunger and thirst for the thing that I love most: that which nourishes and sustains me.

During this time my body and my mat might conspire to reveal my most creative, graceful Vinyasas; smooth, sensual, sexy flows of movement that carry me from pose to pose on a tide of soft Ocean Breath. There are glorious moments of surprise when I “accidentally” float from Down Dog to Crow to Headstand and back again, or do a slow, confident drop back into Little Thunderbolt – things I could never do in a class with others and would hesitate to teach.

Yoga practice, not yoga perfect

This is also the time when I am happiest and most confident to fail – to fart, fall over and say “f*** it.” I can leave my mat for comfort breaks if I need to, or fetch props, or just to re-calibrate for a second: things that would break the flow of a taught class. Even the freedom for a mundane pause can be replenishing – it’s yoga practice, not yoga perfect.

Even the freedom for a mundane pause can be replenishing – it’s yoga practice, not yoga perfect.

The wisdom of the body

Other days are different. The co-conspiracy of mat, body and breath have plans for me other than any “advanced” flow. Sometimes I have all this desire to move and jump and my body says, “Come this way: Oh – and bring a pillow.” And I find myself in a supported Upavistha Konasana (Wide legged forward fold) for five minutes or more. Sometimes what I am lead through is a series of seemingly disjointed poses that I would never chose to put together for a class sequence, but are exactly what I need. My attitude shifts to one of slowing down for quiet, somatic exploration; how are my bones arranged, are my joints stacked, where and how am I unconsciously compensating through this move?

Illuminating the internal world

In both styles of practice I am broken open. My internal world illuminated by the light of my willing, curious attention. I become aware of all the things in the week that have stuck – whether it was a compliment or something that annoyed me, or something physical like a rotator cuff niggle or SI pain. I make a welcome space for whatever is there to stay as long as it needs. I honour the broken parts of myself that yearn for grace, and the strength I develop in doing so.

I love the quote by Rumi:

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you love, it will never led you astray.
SHARE QUOTE

I hope you too can be quietly seduced by whatever makes your body and soul sing.

Namaste,

Becky Bond

Recommended class for EkhartYoga members

Self practice – join Lisa as she guides you through her thoughts, feelings and sensations in a personal practice. This is an excellent opportunity to learn how a mature teacher decides what to do, how to do it and where to go next – all levels, Hatha / Vinyasa, 60 mins

About the author

Ekhart Yoga member

Becky trained with EkhartYoga and is a yoga teacher and complementary therapist working in the Welsh capital, Cardiff, where she lives with her dog. She tries not to take herself too seriously as a teacher and encourages her students to approach yoga with a similar, playful, childlike curiosity.

She is fascinated by anatomy and biomechanics, and also by the experience of the Living Body: the weave of mind-body-breath from within which we perceive and experience reality. Out of this love of explorative movement she is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Dance and Somatic Wellbeing. 

To find out more about her, visit Becky Boo Yoga on Facebook

Share article
EkhartYoga
EkhartYoga Written by one of the EkhartYoga staff or guest writers. A dedicated team of yoga teachers, yoga students, anatomy geeks, and recipe creators.