remember to be kind

Last night I had my usual difficulties in slowing my heartbeat and getting to sleep. In the end, a Mersyndol and two valerian tablets combined with Sally Seltman’s Heart That’s Pounding (yes, I know, ironic choice of album to listen to) saw me drifting off circa 2am.

However I was up and ready for yoga by 6am, although I don’t think I actually woke up until I was halfway to the studio. I’m really glad I went. It’s been a bit of a challenge going back to Ashtanga yoga, after taking the winter off from exercising regularly. In April, I had 6 months of weight and cardio training behind me, and breezed through the positions, earning the benevolent praise and encouragement of my teacher.

This time around, it’s so much harder, and I wish I could say it’s more rewarding, but it isn’t. I am in pain a lot of the time, despite our being told that we shouldn’t ever hurt ourselves or force anything — that we must be kind to our bodies and to ourselves. Unfortunately I know that if I start to stop to rest, I’ll find it even harder to get back into it, so I soldier through the pain and try to stay focused. I spend a lot of time staring at the Mandala in our studio; I miss the beautiful hand-painted ones from Gertrude Street but the classes at the AYCM are so much more useful and instructive for beginners (and specially for constant re-beginners like myself). Gertrude Street is a far more spiritual but somewhat haphazard experience.

Mandala

After yoga, I came home via the fantastic Babka’s picking up a loaf of fresh Casalinga. I had crusty warm bread and Nuttelex with hot chocolate for breakfast — a favourite from my French boarding school days — and then went on to have a very satisfying morning. After my shower, I sorted and put away all my laundry and tidied my room, no mean endeavour. All this before heading off to work. It feels so good to get things done, and yet most mornings I lay in bed until the very last minute (4 extra hours of sleep!). I wish I could do this every morning, and be tidier and better organised, but I am also trying to remember to be kind to myself. Like the yoga, I should continue to strive for change but not be too hard on myself when I can’t quite achieve it.

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