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Where's the spark?

Yoga straight to your mat at home should be a dream compared to battling with motivation and an idea of self-practice. But is it?

In a time when sports clubs, studios and gyms are all closed, where social isolation and distancing are the order of the day, surely Zoom yoga in the privacy of our own homes is just what we all need.

One of the most elusive things in yoga is establishing a self-practice; even yoga teachers struggle with that! A few weeks into this online teaching and I was thinking this could be a good stepping-stone for those wishing to establish a home practice. Regularly rolling out our mat in our home environment, despite devoting a suitable space - between the bath and into the hallway, who'd have thought - familiarises us with the sunny upsides and the pitfalls of doing yoga alone. But why is it still so hard? Thought I'd got it sorted. What is it that’s missing?

Well, it's that intangible factor: the energy. We flock to studios and gyms because there is more to it than mere exercise, breathing and meditation. You'll have heard me say how I love teaching a room full of yogis because the energy is so different. Not because we are all moving through the same asanas but because the attention and intention are there. Sure, it wavers at times but not quite in the same way as running away from having only done half of the morning’s washing up because the Zoom class starts in exactly 1 minute. Or, the email with the Zoom invite was definitely there this morning, so where has it gone now?

So yes, maybe this situation is a step towards carving out a home practice (through marble at times) but let's not forget that one special ingredient. That spark that ignites and keeps us going is the same spark within others that we commune with on an energetic level. What can we do in its absence? Just being aware of what is lacking at that moment is a first step. We can then cut ourselves a bit of slack; always a good thing. So, let’s recognise 'the energy' when it’s there and be grateful for it, and, without any hankering, look forward to a time when that missing spark is more readily available. But for now, let's enjoy what we can... another day... another practice… another Zoom.

Namaste (the light within me bows to the light within you)

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