Yoga: Back in the saddle

Last night, I got a reminder from my photos app that one year ago, I was enthusiastically pursuing yoga. It was definitely a way of coping with a restrictive lockdown and the back-pain I was blaming on a very sedentary job.

Let’s keep age and the passing of time out of this.

Somewhere along the way, despite enjoying the yoga and feeling its benefits, the practice was abandoned in the face of increasing workload and other morning routine habits.

So I made the commitment last night to re-start, and at a little after 7am this morning, I rolled out the yoga mat and got stuck in. Yes, I felt like I’d lost some flexibility and yes, my knees creaked in protest.

But once I was done, it felt great to have intentionally done something for me, something that contributes to my holistic wellbeing. Like many supportive and values-aligned activities, it’s simple and accessible and all I needed was the mat. Just like yesterday’s walk in the morning sunshine.

It’s also the case that our go-to coping strategies aren’t always as sustainable as a daily yoga habit. It might be food, it might be alcohol. It might be something else entirely. But using them frequently can actually erode our wellbeing. My point in raising it – and it’s something that comes up all the time in coaching conversations – is that being intentional and mindful about how we cope with adversity is so important.

If you’ve been living with difficulties this year, what coping practices have you found beneficial?

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