Good intentions

I went to bed with the best of intentions last night. I've managed to get up early every morning this week and practice yoga, and it's made such a HUGE difference to how I've been feeling, physically and emotionally. Physically, I'm more comfortable. I usually wake up with a creaky back which eases out during the day, but I'm always aware of being a little stiff. After just 5 days of consistent practice (and I'm not talking hardcore, two hours of hot yoga or ashtanga, I'm a hatha girl and I've been doing very gentle, grounding, restorative practices) my back is much more comfortable. I'm breathing more deeply. No more than anyone who spends 5 days a week sitting in front of a screen, I tend to hunch my shoulders. There's a big knock on effect from this - I collapse my chest, my breathing gets more shallow, and with shallow breathing, it's much easier for anxiety and stress to take hold. Emotionally, I'm calmer, and more at ease with myself. I suspect even the fact that I'm doing it, as much as the practice itself, is contributing to that. It's a huge step for me that I've got my yoga back, and really feels like progress.

So what was today's good intention? I was going to continue with the early rising and treat myself to a whole hour of practice to get my weekend off to the right start. I've managed to move very quickly from needing to practice to actually wanting to do it. But oh, the glorious irony that is small kids and timekeeping. Weekdays, we tend to drag them out of the bed. Weekends?? Without fail, every, single weekend, they're up pre 6am. Today the first round of calls came at 5.40. As it's the weekend, I had set my alarm for 6 instead of 5.30, so end result? No yoga for me.

Here's where I need to watch what I think. My first reaction was one of extreme irritation. Weekends are full on here. We both work full time, so there's a lot needs to happen at the weekend to get ready for the week ahead. We try to give each other time to catch up on sleep. I like to try and catch up with at least one friend. The dogs need walking. Shopping needs to be done. Laundry. If I'm motivated enough I cook a couple of dinners to ease the pressure during the week. And let's not forget we actually want to have some family time as well! So in between all this, I don't usually feel able to take an hour to myself to practice. It feels selfish, and I can't relax if I hear chaos unfolding downstairs. Also, practicing first thing suits me. It grounds me, and I start my day feeling calmer. This morning I haven't had that opportunity, and I can feel already that I desperately want to fit it in, but now it's become an extra thing on the to do list and is adding to the pressure of an already full day. Or, at least that's how I'm currently perceiving it. (Incidentally the time to write this comes courtesy of the sky box and multiple episodes of Penguins of Madagascar, interspersed with many interruptions. Not time that would be conducive to a good practice!!)

Therapist has me working on turning around the negative dialogue that runs through my head in relation to how I think about myself. I'm going to try and apply it to how I'm thinking about my time as well. No, my morning hasn't gone as planned. But, having gone to bed reasonably early with the intention of getting up early, I've at least had enough sleep. I haven't had time to practice, but I have had time to write and recognise the problem with how I'm thinking, which is equally as valuable. The kids, despite waking ridiculously early, kept each other company for a good hour, so I did manage to get some extra shut eye. I will absolutely be able to find time to practice at some point today. It won't be my preferred time, but that doesn't make it any less valuable!! In fact, it probably makes it more so, because I need to keep this sense of pressure that I feel at weekends under control, and making time for yoga will help me to do that. My folks are coming over to visit today. I plan on meeting a few friends this afternoon. We're taking the kids to a science fair tomorrow. What's not to enjoy this weekend??!

My girl getting her yoga on :-)

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