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Chest Opener - A pose for all seasons

Chest Opener – A pose for all seasons

I’m heading north to Byron Bay this week to teach for the sixth consecutive year in a yoga therapy course. My friends and students think I am blessed to spend time in this warm, sunny paradise of northern NSW. But the truth is, Byron has had miserable weather each time I’ve been there – rainy and cold (apologies to Byronshire Tourism).

What difference should weather make to an equanimous yogini such as myself? Well, gloomy, chilly days can be depressing and even put some of us off our yoga practice. It’s not a lot of fun at this time of year, as we roll into winter, to face a cold yoga room.

There are so many things that can bedevil us when it comes to keeping our practice regular.

Reasonable Excuses

  1. Vacations – I go on a holiday and there’s no room in my accommodation to put my yoga mat down. (It’s also possible that I forgot to pack my mat.)
  2. Illnesses – I get a bad cold or a flu and the last thing I want to think about is a special needs practice. Imagine the horrible cascade of fluids that will occur if I go upside-down! 
  3. Injuries – I pull a hamstring, tear a intercostal, or strain my sacroiliac joint. All of these will likely put me out of commission for some time.
  4. Recreation – I have a late night. Or, a too-early morning.
  5. Sleep difficulties – I experience insomnia and, of course, have to sleep in the next morning.
  6. Life – I suffer from PMS, midlife crisis, or menopause.
  7. Celebrating life – There are important events. It’s my birthday, wedding anniversary, Easter, Christmas, or New Year’s.

However, if I have the presence of mind (big if) to remember, there’s a simple formula to help me stay on track. 

The Solution (Simple But Not Easy)

  1. You simply roll out your mat and sit or stand on it.
  2. Quiet your mind.
  3. Do what practice you can.
  4. If you’re worrying about how much you can do, then probably your mind isn’t quiet yet. So, go back to step 3.
  5. Then, to firmly set the habit of yoga practice, do it all again over tomorrow.