I got back on the mat yesterday after a rather long hiatus.
I confess that I find it quite difficult to practise at home; very un-zen of me, I know. But when I'm on the mat I look around and can't help but notice the dusty floors, the odd piece of lego, the pile of unfolded washing out of the corner of my eye. It always seems like there is something more important to attend to. However, with the arrival of Percy I know that getting to the studio for a class is a good few months (and a fair amount of planning) away. I can get on the mat at home or not practise at all.
So, with a freshly washed mat (I soak it in the laundry sink with water and a bit of lavender oil) I set up in the front room. Percy sat in his rocker at the top of my mat, his eyes following me as I moved up and down, side to side. It was a very stereotypical mum-practises-yoga-at-home scene; toys and books scattered to my right, a dining table decorated with breakfast plates, cups and tiny bits of eggshell to my left and a baby keeping a watchful eye on my alignment.
I maintained a somewhat focussed mindset as I moved through some gentle limbering asanas (my goodness, my upper body is sore!) and then stood in tasasana (tree pose) in preparation for some sun salutations. I enjoy a vinyasa practise; flowing in and out of poses, warming up and actually feeling my body; the way it aches, the tension, the tightness. After spending nine months focussing solely on my self and the baby I was growing, I am now so caught up in Percy that any awareness of my own body has well and truly disappeared; hence the dire need for yoga.
Once I was moving, rather clumsily, through sun salutations I was feeling quite good about my body; my hips felt strong, I could still fold over and touch my toes. But then - plank pose. I moved from downward dog and prepared to gradually lower myself into plank before lifting into up dog but instead I just flopped onto the mat. Arm and core strength - zero.
I laughed at my floppy plank. Yes, I am the yoga teacher collapsed on the mat; a grounding practise if ever there was one.