The last thing I want to do on a yoga mat is think too much about what's coming next. This way of thinking, this way of being, defines motherhood, don't you think? Whilst being in the here and now is ideal, there's no denying that I spend most of my day thinking ahead; the washing that needs to be brought in, the dinner that needs to be cooked, the children that need to be picked up from school.
The essence of vinyasa (flow) yoga is to move from one asana to the next; guided by the body and not so much the mind. But therein lies the dilemma. It's necessary for me to spend much of my day making decisions and answering questions; I come to yoga to get out of my head and return, albeit momentarily, to my tired body.
So you can understand that by the time I've created the space to get onto the mat, I am begging for someone to grab hold of my hand and tell me what to do. Just lead me! It's only in the past few weeks that I've had this realisation and perhaps it's why I've never been disciplined enough to maintain a regular home practise. For someone who thinks too much as it is, guiding myself through a yoga sequence is almost detrimental.
Recently, the lovely Gaby recommended Gaiam TV - an online yoga channel that is very affordable and incredibly encouraging. Since I signed up I've done a practise most days - it's so easy to open the laptop, press play and go! And you know what, it really does make a difference to my day. It's only thirty minutes (that I would otherwise be spending online) and once complete I feel grounded and open; I stand taller, breathe deeper and speak more calmly. And yes, my core is starting to heal and strengthen.
A few years ago I would have been too embarrassed to admit that as a yoga teacher, I couldn't maintain a home practise. But I've come to realise that my greatest truth is best acknowledged; now, in this season of early motherhood, I need some nurturing, too. And if that comes from a yoga class through a laptop, so be it.
Perhaps, on this first day of winter, you could promise to nurture yourself through the season. If so, what will you do?