Thrown back into London life after 16 blissful days enjoying the tranquility and sunshine of Provence is quite a jolt to the system. I taught my first class yesterday and it was lovely to see so many of my students again. They reminded me what a valuable tool yoga is to survive 21st urban living.
While the relaxing and revitalising effects of yoga are widely recognised what draws us to it from our busy over scheduled lives is something a little more elusive. Yoga presents a blissful marriage of mindful movement combined with a sense of inner stillness. It is yoga's geometric shapes connected through the breath that serve to create peace and harmony out of the chaos of thoughts and city life. It is when we fully commit to bringing ourselves into the present moment either by anchoring our attention in our breath or the physical sensations of our bodies, that our yoga practice becomes a moving meditation.
It is this that facilitates a very real physical opening and a tremendous release of tension. It is a powerful and effective method of reclaiming our physical bodies and an opportunity to discover how enjoyable it can be to get inside ourselves.
My yoga practice gives me the chance to feel thankful and sometimes surprised at what my body can actually do. If I stay rooted in the present moment I can really begin to experience time away from the endless demands of everyday life and my desire for achievement. Time on the yoga mat creates a place where I can be at one with precisely where I am, a place where I don't feel that I need to be doing more or be anywhere else.
Through yoga we can all discover that sense of holiday stillness and calm by seeking out the sanctuary beneath our own skin.