New Year, Old me.
Connection. This word has somewhat become confused and a little bit lonely of late as we enter deeper into the digital world. We have never been so connected but also, we have never been so disconnected with each other as we spend more time looking into the device that fits into the palm of our hands as opposed to someone’s eyes. A lot of us seem to have more of a connection with a ‘friend’ on social media than we do with the community of people physically surrounding us.
Connection can mean many different things. The definition is “a relationship in which a person or thing is linked or associated with something else” yeah so by definition ‘a thing’ can be that random person/page you follow on social media. But we ask, does it have true meaning?
Connecting & community
I am working hard to connect with my wider community, to seek with curiosity the actions and stories of those around me to understand how the world is moving and progressing. I am interested to connect with those who grow my food, who bake my bread and most importantly those who nourish me to excel my health and quality of life.
I am made up of the community who fuel me and for that, I want to connect more.
I am also trying to connect further with my container, my body. Of late, I have felt somewhat disconnected. I spent a good 18 months after moving to Adelaide from Melbourne committed to having a greater relationship with my body to help move me forward with ease and comfort. Over the last 6 months, I have felt somewhat lost and now consciously aware, I am regaining that ‘old me’ in the new year to move and sit with comfort.
I am a yogi
Yoga has long been in my conscious being, it’s one of the most talked about forms of movement to help create space in not only the body but the mind too. And when you delve deeper into this movement practice the benefits are vast:
- Builds full-body strength
- Regulates your nervous system response
- Help cultivate mindfulness
- Improves balance
- Increased flexibility
- Improved respiration, energy, and vitality
- Protection from injury
- Improved athletic performance
When the time is right
I tried over many years to engage with the practice of yoga; at first the movement sequence didn’t flow with me; I fought the physical movement as much as I did my mind. I didn’t understand the foundations of this practice. I felt it slow and somewhat boring, I clock watched the class. I’m sure many of you can relate.
With anything in life ‘never stop trying’ and never discount that one day what you didn’t flow with will start to make somewhat sense when the time is right. After the thought of yoga sitting in my mind for many years, when I did find the right practice, everything suddenly fell into place.
The yoga practice that suited my runner’s body was Vinyasa. A style of yoga that is characterised by stringing postures together, so you move from one to another, seamlessly using breath. This style of yoga helps you develop a more balanced body and prevent repetitive motion injuries that can often happen if you are doing the same thing day in day out.
I read that ‘Vinyasa, is a breath-initiated practice, that connects every action of our life with the intention of moving towards what is sacred, or most important to us.’ This is what connection is all about.
The benefits of yoga go beyond the mat; when we are centred on the mat, we somewhat become more so within ourselves in our daily lives; I think this has something to do with the mindfulness experienced as you move through each pose with intention. We become more in touch with our conscious being.
The old and the new
Now that I am returning to the mat; I feel ridged, frustrated, and uncomfortable but what I don’t feel is defeated. I am not going to beat myself up for not feeling into the body the way I did less than 12 months ago – I am where I am today, not last year. I am going to work hard to get back to the old me; it’s going to take time and patience and I have plenty of that. I have my new starting point and the mat is always waiting for me to connect.
Physical and self-connection can be challenging, it can be uncomfortable, and it can be slow but like anything I am going to keep chipping away at it and moving forward with kindness and acceptance for where I am today.
As a run coach, I often communicate to my athletes to accept where they are today; to not fight where they wish they were but to sit and feel into the body as it shows up on the day. The grind at times is real so the more we listen, communicate, and connect with ourselves both physically and mentally the greater chance we have of building a relationship that is stemmed from strength, grit, and compassion.
Yoga is a practice we use to get our mind and body right; its inclusive. Today I choose to connect with myself in the practice of flow, today is a good day.
I encourage you to explore the practice of yoga; there is more than one:
When you connect with your body; the different variation and physical demands of the class will tell you which best suits your variety of skill level and needs.
As a runner and coach; I encourage all my athletes to explore the styles of Vinyasa | Yin and Restorative yoga to help balance the yang energies of running.