letting your intuition guide your practice on the mat
I practice yoga every day. There is always at least one yoga mat rolled out around the house and jumping on it is almost second nature these days, but I have to admit, sometimes I lose enthusiasm for my practice because it becomes boring or it isn’t actually what I feel like doing.
While procrastinating one afternoon as to whether I could actually be bothered doing my sequence, I pondered why I didn’t want to do it. It is, after all, a great sequence – challenging and full of strong poses and balances. It was then that I realised, practice wasn’t at all what I felt like doing that day. I had been at my desk writing all morning and what my body and mind needed was some long, gentle stretching and deep soothing breaths.
Instantly I felt relieved and excited to get started, and as I placed my palms together at heart centre I let my body guide me as to how it wanted to move and stretch. Intuitively I went from one long deep stretch to the other, hanging for as long as my body needed, breathing into any area where there was tension. My body reacted gratefully to the relaxing asana and I felt not only a rush of gratitude for the practice, but also freedom and expansion. It took me out of my little yoga box and created an experience that felt amazing.
Below are some tips on how to use your intuition when you need to change up your practice or get back in touch with the magic of practicing yoga.
Step on the mat
Don’t plan – just step on the mat and see whether you feel like standing up, sitting down, stretching, holding or just breathing.
Check your mood
How do you feel today? Achy, tired, happy, sad, energetic…don’t question it or try to figure out why, just observe it and go with it.
Fast, slow, forwards, backwards or side to side. Move into whatever poses your body guides you to, even if its not a traditional yoga pose! Just trust that your body knows what it needs.
Try the above today instead of your normal routine, or try to become more aware of your body during your normal yoga sequence…does it really feel like holding Warrior 2 or does it long for a deep hip stretch in Swan Pose? The effects of your yoga practice are experienced off the mat too – by bringing intuition into your daily yoga flow you will naturally find yourself enjoying it in your day-to-day life as well!
Enjoy your practice!