During one particular winter, I felt guided to bow out of my longtime yoga practice which had been my anchor. I let my body tell me what it needed. Here’s what I learned, and how it enriched my practice when I returned.
I often tell people that I don’t know who I would be without yoga. I’ve studied yoga since the early 1990s, except for a few years when my health was too poor to sustain a practice. When I attend regular classes, I feel stronger in body and more peaceful in mind. I consider my yoga practice to be my anchor—keeping me grounded, flexible, and mindful in the midst of a chaotic world.
So it was a surprise when a few years ago, I tuned into guidance that told me yoga was no longer for me, at least for a while. For one entire winter, my mat stayed rolled up in a corner. I stayed home on Thursday nights while my yoga buddies gathered at the studio I loved. I didn’t know why, but it seemed that yoga was not what my body wanted.
Throughout those cold days, I still moved my body, but I began to move in freeform ways that didn’t correspond to any particular discipline. I lay on the floor and squirmed my spine against the carpet. I danced in slow motion, without music to guide me. I sat on a cushion and allowed my head to loll and my shoulders to shake as they wanted to.
It was tremendously freeing.
Here’s what I learned from my winter yoga sabbatical:
When I eventually took my place among my yoga buddies in my weekly class again, all these learnings stayed with me and expanded my experience of yoga. I am so grateful that I listened to the guidance I needed that winter, and also grateful for the enrichment that followed.
About The Author: Shawndra Miller, Spacious Light Intuitive Arts, is an energy worker and writer in Indianapolis. A certified ThetaHealer®, she offers one-on-one energy work, classes, and collaborative events that connect people to a wider sense of what's possible in their bodies, energies, lives, and the larger world. Tailoring sessions to each client, she blends energetic and emotional clearing methods that she mastered during a decade of recovery from fibromyalgia. She blogs weekly on community resilience and personal transformation at shawndramiller.com/blog.