It has been a bit of whirlwind, moving to the other side of the world. Even although we staggered the move, with Kenny heading away first to establish base camp and Molly and I following eight weeks later there did end up being an awful lot of throwing things into suitcases, cramming in of last-minute visits and (embarrassingly) having to return to our already let-out home to retrieve bits of paperwork that were vital to the process of moving to Singapore (thank heavens for a calm and very obliging tenant!). But after the rather long flight and a couple of weeks of limbo-land (where the heat and new sights and smells make you feel as if you're possibly just dreaming the whole experience) we've settled in. We've found our handiest shops and fresh food markets, we've navigated our way across town by bus and train (amazingly regular, superbly efficient and economic) and spent a lot of time in the pool, astounded that some people find the water too cool for swimming (Really? Coming from a poor summer - even by Highland standards - the pool here has been a literal life saver, overheated toddler and exhausted mother transformed to happy water babies with one simple jump). And my excuses for not regularly practising yoga have all but disappeared.
Maybe yoga teachers shouldn't admit to this, but what with the too-long-to-do-list, clock ticking down to departure, bed-hopping round Scotland for farewells and then acclimatisation period, I failed to keep my personal yoga practice up. My usual rule of at least 30 minutes before bed shrunk to not letting more than two days go by without at least some yoga to a general acceptance that I was no longer a yogic chick. At the very time when yoga could have helped support both body and mind through the transition, I let it go. And while yoga is all about letting go, I took it a bit too far for my own well being. And because I feel like I'm on holiday - a lovely apartment, with handy agreeable-temperature pool - I've not sorted it out for myself yet at all. Which is crazy, because when I do manage to do some yoga (to help Kenny with his over-tight shoulders, or to try and recover from the jet lag) body and mind shout out "heck, we remember this, and it feels great!".
And it brings me back to the Eight Limbs of Yoga, more specifically to the Niyamas (Sanskrit: नियम). These are the positive duties or observances, the recommended activities and habits for healthy living, spiritual enlightenment and liberated state of existence.
So, needless to say, it's the two starred ones I'm needing to focus on right now. Like anyone who falls of their particular wagon (be it drink, diet or keeping-work-in-its-box related) I'm being disciplined about letting go of the guilt associated with letting things slide (we are all human, and the only true failure is not to keep trying to do the things we know will make life better). I'm being devoted to making time for some asana practice; to making my own well being a priority. I'm accepting that my past efforts have brought me to where I am today (with tighter hamstrings and more back pain than I have had in years) and that my efforts today will take me to where I want to be in the future.
Right now, that's switching off the laptop, rolling out the yoga mat and doing at least 30 minutes of practise before bed. Oh, and I've found some local classes to attend, but more of that in another post . . .
On and off the mat, yoga philosophy or principles can be applied. This blog catches those meanders as well as some of the extra bits that we don't have time to go too deeply into during class.