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Why I get on the mat?

I think so often we get drawn in by this beautiful practice that somehow manages us to make us feel good. It really is just as simple as it’s reconnecting our mind and body pathways so we begin to feel more as one again. Sometimes this is connected through a strong physical practice, sometimes through subtle calm fluid movement and sometimes through perfecting our alignment and challenging the mind to meet the body in harmony.

For me its continually asking myself why I practice...its important to know so that you can fully receive. One of the reasons I practice these days is honestly to continue to improve my awareness and understanding as a teacher. If I am not challenging myself on the mat then how can I can continue to understand the journey of a student who is challenging themselves? I pride myself on not being a teacher that regurgitates information and being a teacher that expresses what I feel and how I understand it. This goes for both the physical and the physiological aspects of the practice. I try to understand and make it relevant to myself in the life I’m living not just something I was once told and am now re telling.

Obviously this is not the only reason I step onto the mat as often as possible in fact its not the main reason the main reason is to simply feel pretty good. I’m working on a journey to be fully in my body fully accepting of my body and not separate from it, I know this can sound ridiculous but there has definitely been times when my asana practice has been almost the opposite in a way to fix my body to align my body to my mind and how I think it should, to tone my body and make it look and be how I want it to be. This really is the antithesis of Yoga but I think many of us go through this journey at some point if only to understand more clearly that we our mind and our body are one whole being and why would we want not to be? It’s a long lesson of back and forth and even more pressure to be a certain way with the continuous rise of social accreditation.

I say accreditation vey specifically because for me this is where the confusion occurs the slight annoyance and the glorification of strange things.

Yes having a strong asana practice is fun and key and challenging and shows the journey and discipline but it’s not the only way and as yogis we understand the different bodies and the different practices. However with visual being one of the most inspiring things in our current world of which I don’t disagree then its becoming more and more important for us all to take charge and practice how we want to practice to more and more let the ego evaporate and realise its not to show its to feel.

Once we all strip its all back to feeling what we feel in all aspects of the self then no matter what everyone else is doing we will be good, we will be aligned and ultimately we will be happy!

To be continued....

Emily-Clare Hill - London Yoga Teacher

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