My aqua yoga mat is rolled out for me in my usual nook in the top corner, next to the right hand-side wall of the studio. A fellow yogi places a purple block beside my mat for me. Walking to my mat from the rear of the studio is always a challenge, dodging the other coloured mats and zigzagging tranquil flattened bodies until I reach my empty mat. Sitting in a cross-legged position I sigh relief for not falling on anyone. After a swig of water from my orange drink bottle, I lie back to join the other yogis in their relaxed states.
This is my ‘usual’ routine before I commence my yoga practise. The placement of my mat in a little nook, gives me a sense of security, comfort. Throughout my practise I can adapt all the instructed postures by holding onto the wall as extra support. What’s more, I know that the wall behind me is shielding my fellow yogis from seeing my wobbly attempts at doing each move. Since beginning yoga, this has been my spot – knowing what to expect, similar and safe.
For weeks now, the ‘shoulds’ of maybe challenging my performance by changing my spot in the studio have been forefront in my mind. At times, when my usual spot is taken I move to a different place in he studio. The unfamiliarity of my new place is daunting and I always opt to return back to my safe nook.
However, today I found myself asking the teacher to roll out my mat on the other side of the studio. Not only was the wall now on my other side but also I was in the front row, with the class all behind me – my unco moves were in spotlight. The entire class I found it hard to shift my mindset from being concerned that my ‘versions’ of postures and wobbly stances may negatively impact the other students’ performance. I forced my thinking to stay focused on the four corners of my mat and told myself that my fellow yogis were doing the same. Each time I wobbled and shook, I resisted the temptation to leach onto the white wall for stability. Subsequently, I was able to carry out positions I have never done before. So next time I practice yoga, I know that it is possible – I have done it!
It’s scary to think you can be so trapped in a routine, that to step beyond the walls (literally) of your security zone is terrifying. Hence – we often dismiss the possibility of challenging ourselves by choosing to focus on the familiar thoughts and comfort of this routine. So what is it that you’ve been avoiding doing in your life? Maybe, take a jump! It might open up a world of possibilities.