Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pausing to say "Hello"


As you might have noticed, I've been on an extended, unannounced holiday from this blog. It was totally unplanned - a few days' break led to a few weeks' break led to a few months' break. How does Blogger even work now?! They've changed the backend completely. Wow. Guess I've been away for THAT long.

I have no other reason than I didn't feel like writing. So I didn't.

It wasn't like I was short on material either... From my last post in July till now, I've had one kitchen drama after another (and the kitchen is STILL incomplete, mind you), my siblings came to visit me in the dam, I went to Berlin to watch a friend run the Berlin Marathon for the first time, I went to Ljubljana in Slovenia and shot in the most magical Hobbitville forest, I went to visit some of my best friends in London after the births of their gorgeous babies, I was getting out and actually socializing for the first time in ages, even meeting boys and going out on dates and navigating the minefield that is "the dating game" (I hate it, by the way. Boys today are just too complicated), I've had visitors from out-of-town coming and going from my flat, I've been practicing ashtanga yoga a little bit, then I've not been practicing ashtanga yoga at all, then I've got back on my mat again and I'm still trying to find the balance between managing yoga and life, and life and yoga.

And y'know... I was just getting out there and "living life". And I guess I was getting out of my head a little, experiencing life without processing too much (or possibly maybe TRYING not to process too much!) I guess if this were a movie, this would be the part where a montage of different scenes from the past few months flies past in fast-forward. HAHA.

I definitely needed that blog-break. Not to say that I'll be back to regular writing again, but as with all things, it's always good to stop what you're doing, take a step back and put things in perspective again. When it came to writing about yoga, I felt like all I was doing was moaning about asana. "Wah wah wah, I can't do this and wah wah wah, I can't do that". I was boring myself to tears. I think I was/am also coming to a point where I don't particularly feel the need to share everything that's going on in my head about my practice. It helped me internalize stuff to blab about it before, but maybe it's coz my practice is taking a more inward turn that I haven't felt the need to talk about it. Also, I'd been going down the same stop-start-stop pattern in my practice that I wasn't even sure what to make of it anymore.

So... I just gave it a break. A break from all that writing and thinking and navel-gazing about it. And I think out of all that time-off to JUST BE, and get out and do stuff without thinking... Now that I'm finally sitting down to think about it, I'm gonna mix it up a little bit with my practice. Sticking to a 5 or 6-day practice a week is just not do-able in my current situation. Not if I also want to have more of a social life, or enough hours of sleep a night especially when work starts to go balls-to-the-wall busy again. And I'm done with feeling guilty and beating myself up on it when I can't stick to that practice schedule no matter what the reason (or excuse) may be. At this point, I'm gonna allow myself a 3 or 4-day practice a week (maybe less sometimes) and say "yes" to more social events. 2011 is my year of "speaking my truth" anyway, and the whole point of turning up on the mat, for me at least, is tuning in to a more mindful/ conscious way of living and not sticking to dogma for dogma's sake. And right now, it feels like this is what I need.

It makes me a happier person, and that's a good enough reason for me.

I guess that's the conundrum of being a modern-day yogi. I felt myself always having to choose between "life or yoga?" or "work or yoga"? (and I refer to "yoga" in the asana sense of "making it to practice") It shouldn't even have to come to this double bind, but I guess life just throws stuff your way and you just deal with it the best you can.

I'd much rather be caught in the RyGos double bind. Mm-hmm.


  1. Hey Jaime,

    I picked up your post from twitter. Really nice post echoing a lot of my own thoughts and feelings about writing about practice. It may even inspire me to write a blog post myself - after all 2011 a few weeks from its gentle demise!

    It certainly feels like its time to reflect and celebrate another year.


  2. Hey Guy! It's been a while! I've also been quite hands-off Twitter... Facebook has been my "social media de jour" Heh. Looking forward to reading your thoughts if and when you do post. Crazy that it's pretty much end of the year, eh? x

  3. i hear ya- and so happy you disconnected for YOU :) Sometimes it's what we need. :) (nice to read you again though!)

  4. Hi Skippety, I haven't commented here before but I've been enjoying your blog for a while. This thing of having to choose "work or yoga" totally describes my situation right now, and I still don't know where I'm going to end up with it, but it's good to hear I'm not the only one! Well done on managing to relax and not beat yourself up about not practicing six days a week though, that's what I need to learn too! :)

  5. Hey Skippetty
    Nice to see you back, even if it's only occasionally! I think we each have to find out the way yoga can fit into our own lives, not worry too much about what we "should" be doing. I used to go through that whole guilt trip about 6-days a week practicing too - just wasn't possible with my work situation. But then I stopped worrying about it and kind of relaxed about the length of practice, and after a while found I was actually managing to do 5 or 6 half-hour practices a week in my lunch-hour! Without particularly trying ... Funny that!!

  6. Hey EY! Hope you've been well. It's nice connecting with an "old friend" again. Hehe. I hope we get to meet in person one day. You're cool. x

    Hi pakistaniashtangi! Thanks for finally commenting ;) This is not to say I have succeeded in letting go of that guilt, but I am aware of it and letting it go (hopefully). HAHAHA. I had a very senior ashtanga teacher passing through here teaching a workshop and him and his wife stayed with me. I had some interesting chats with them into the wee hours about this same subject. Thing is, we aren't yogis in caves, nor even yogis on a 3-month sabbatical in Mysore with all the time in the world to practice 2 hours a day, followed by a full-on 8-hour or 10-hour work day. And in my case, it could be an 18-hour work day leading up to a shoot. And then on top of this also attempt to have a social life...? I'm not Wonder Woman and can't have it all. Haha. At this point, I have decided that my mat practice will not be my priority (when I made it my priority, I had many sleepless nights stressing over 'i need to sleep NOW in order to make practice'... and I'd end up insomniac. That's how stressed it was making me!!!)

    I've also come to realize that "practicing yoga" doesn't only happen when you roll your mat out. One could be practicing on the mat, but not being mindful about it. So I'm also taking this same mindful/ conscious living awareness out into daily life. This will be my daily yoga practice. :)

    Hi Susie! Love that you've found a way to incorporate that balance in your life. Well done! :)

  7. Good to hear from you S! been wondering about you, funny the image of if it was a movie it would be a list of sorts of different images... ! :-)

  8. Love, love, love this post. The same has just happened to me too and I've stopped beating myself for not doing a "Proper" (??) practice. What is that? I do what I can and is happy with that considering my life situation right now. But I have missed you 'cause I love your writing style. Take care!


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