How practising yoga daily has changed my life.

Mar 2, 2018

When I first started #Idle, I honestly couldn't have believed that I, the unfaltering Lazybones would ever manage to do yoga on the daily (okay, so if we're being really honest, my average is now 5 sessions of 15 to 60 mins a week - I'm still me, ya know!). In the beginning daring to be unapollegetically lazy and indulging in escapism, was more important to me than feeling more energised and balanced. And while I still think it's important to be a counterweight for our succes-driven society that centers around constantly being busy and is full of all sorts of distractions for the mind, I've found different, more thourough ways to fulfil that mission. And as you can already guess, yoga daily is a big part of that.

You see, the deeper I went in my quest towards a lazy, yet conscious life, the more I discovered that letting my mind go blank, by scrolling away on Instagram or Pinterest or binge-watching Netflix wasn't really serving me. It didn't help me to go about life in a more relaxed way, on the contrary, once I came back from escapism into reality, I often felt empty, drained of energy, uninspired, anxious and absolutely clueless about where the hell I was going with this life of mine.

And this is something I actually already kind of knew since I started this blog, because re-reading old blogposts I already noticed that I talked about setting a certain time-slot for yourself while watching series, to make it feel like treat, to alternate smartphone time with reading books, practising yoga or going for a walk. But looking back now, I realise that I didn't really manage to practise what I preached. I gave my best advice away and forgot to apply it to my own life!

But somehow, I did manage to change things around. What I discovered was that instead of contantly shooting stimuli at my brain so that it would become numb and idle, it felt far better to make time for moments of complete idleness, of doing literally nothing to stimulate the brain (by meditating or focussing on the body by practising yoga) and feel how my mind slowly filled it itself like a cup of hot tea.

This certainly wasn't something I learned from one day to another, there were rather several pivot points.

The first was reading Happiness by Matthieu Ricard, during our summer holiday in September. I've already mentioned this book a few times here, but I simply can't stress enough how beneficial reading it has been to me, and I'm sure will be to everyone who is open to it. It handles buddhism and meditation from a neuroscientist turned buddhist monk's point of view, so it's perfect for anyone who wants to learn about how buddhism can help them to take control of their own mind, whithout going all to deep into the spiritaul side of things.

The second was adding actual weekly yoga classes to my Yoga with Adriene sessions (also since September). It's a bit sad to say, but knowing that you've paid good money for it, is just that extra little motivator to not skip out on classes and to make the most of your time on the mat. Also the regular basis of it was very beneficial for me and helped me to get more routine into my at home practise as well.

Which brings me to my third point, which is also the main topic of this blogpost, but I never would have gotten there if it wasn't for the firts two steps: Doing yoga on the daily. Ever since I started doing yoga almost daily (something I really comitted to since the start of 2018), I have felt such a huge change in the way I go about life:

I manage to calm my mind now, not by escaping from it, but by being present in it, and also in my body and my heart (gosh, this sounds so cheesy, but there is just no other way to say it!).

I've felt so much more energised. Doing little household chores in the evening is just way easier now. I always used to have the habit to leave things lying around the house (like a peanutbutter smeared knife on the kitchen counter, or clothes on the bathoom floor...), now I just think of cleaning those things up immediately.

I've also finally managed to get a steady routine in my blogposts, to take my instagram pictures in bulk and draft my captions about month in advance. And moreover I've been feeling much more inspired to create content!

I've felt way less drawn towards Netflix and other mind numbing substances. I've managed to contain my shopping habits (almost better than when I was actually on my shopping diet last year).

I've felt way less doubtful about where I'm going with my life, or about what the oint of life is in general. Not that I really found answers to those questions (certainly not the second one), I just worry less and trust that the value is in the journey and not in the desitination, so whatever I decide to do is fine because it will always teach me something.

Basically I just feel like I am finally in control of my life. Like if I want to do something I do it, wearas before I had all these goals I wanted to achieve, but I just couldn't put my self around to doing them, because I felt tired or afraid or "I just don't feel like it now". The funny thing is I was sitting in a downward spiral that was draining my energy and I didn't realise that all I had to do to get out of it was actually to start doing things and the energy to do them would follow!

Now, I'm not saying I'm a completely changed woman, sometimes I have relapses. Like when my beau left on a snowboarding trip last week, I litterally (and I'm not using that word as a figure of speech here, I litteraly mean "litterally") spent the entire Saturday bnge watching Dirk Gentley's Holistic Detective Agency (wich fyi is brilliant show, but maybe watching the last three episodes of season 1 and the entire season 2 in one day, is just not the brightest way to go), I didn't do any yoga, couldn't bring myself to cooking a decent meal and I let the teacups pile up in te kitchen. And even though Sunday was a little bit better - as were most days of the week that followed - I didn't manage to write a blogpost that week, and I only really got my groove back Saturday (when I knew my beau was coming home in the evening).

So, it's certanly not always easy to find balance in your life, but yoga can help. And when you do get to that point, it just feels so right - not amazing, not spectaculair, or over-the-top exhilerating, but just right.