Step Away From The Extreme
Get Centred With Yoga
You did it again. You went to the extreme. That 60 hour work week, that last glass of wine you could have gone without, that thing you said to the person you love in a moment of tense, pent up anger. How did this happen again?? You promised yourself you wouldn’t let it get to this point, and yet here you are, too far to the left with no one but yourself as the culprit. How can you find the middle ground, how can you fix what you’ve messed up for the one thousandth time?
Wait. Stop. Breathe. Instead of taking that extremely predictable route of beating up on yourself, you reach for your phone and see when your favourite yoga instructor is teaching. Tonight at 7:00 pm. Perfect. You make a promise to yourself that as soon as the day is done you will get yourself to yoga.
The work day ends. You make a bee-line for the yoga studio. As soon as you walk through the door, the rush and din of the city streets melts away. The light smell of incense fills the air and soft music greets your weary ears. Slowly you plod up the steps to the reception desk. They’re always smiling at the front desk, a small yet welcome miracle. All signed in for class, you head to the change room to prepare.
Walking into the studio, the lights are dimmed, your favourite spot in the back left hand corner is still open! It’s a sign, things are looking up. Laying your mat down, you claim this little piece of paradise as your own, knowing soon you’ll be feeling sane again – you hope.
Your teacher walks in. Immediately you feel safe. They tell you to slow the breath, slow the mind, just go slow. You feel the heartbeat drop, the skin and muscles soften, even the thoughts start to relax their frenzied grip. Soon the body and breath are moving together as one. A synchronized dance of inhales and exhales. Muscles are working, releasing tension and emotion with every lunge, with every plank. You start to feel your centre, you start to hear your heart. Somewhere in between sun salutations and tree pose, you feel like yourself again. You’ve come back to the middle ground.
Yoga does this. It gives us the road map back to the valley of our hearts. Away from the inevitable mountain peaks and low flowing rivers of life, yoga reminds us that whenever we take the time to feel our breath, feel our body, we will ultimately find our centre. The more we practice this return to centre, the easier it will be to leave the office early, resist that last glass of wine, and hug that person we never want to take for granted. Highs and lows will come and go, but your centre lasts forever. Let yoga guide you back inside where your centre, your soul, is resting.
Jelayna is a passionate yoga teacher. When she's not doing yoga, running or writing, she will most likely be drinking coffee in a cozy cafe, reading a good book or spending time with family and friends.