Friday, December 19, 2014

5% Less

Throughout this past month of December I am noticing that students in class are tired. Weary, deep, bone-tired. And of course! It’s the end of a big cycle – 52 weeks, a full year, 365 days, loads of experiences, good and trying, topped up with the expectations of Christmas (and Christmas crowds and shopping!) and families, and goals both met and unmet and then bam! an event to shake us all up to the core. Wow. No wonder people are rubbing their eyes when they come to class, no wonder class number are smaller than usual, and heck, no wonder I’ve been tired myself. And yes, a little teary.

And honestly – I’m loving that people are tired. When people are tired, they listen. When they can’t do a strong practice, but still come to class, they allow themselves to rest in child’s pose. They allow themselves to back out of poses. They still show up – but just a little more gently.

They still practice yoga – just 5% less.

I love the book 10% Happier, which advocates being just a bit more happy than today. It’s not in a huge life-changing way that people need to flip the script most times, it’s just little by little, gentle nudge by nudge. It’s just moving in the direction of wellness. (That’s exactly what my one-on-one coaching packages are allll about!)

And so that’s why I’ve made every single class this month have a theme of 5% less. Five percent is teeny tiny – but man, it can actually create a whole new understanding.

We’re so asleep to life sometimes – so automated. So when we are encouraged to back out 5%, we must first be alert and awake to how much intensity we are giving things daily. In a yoga class, it looks like this:

 Do we normally do every single vinyasa and chattarunga? Or do we rest when we need?
 Do we automatically do every single suggested pose? Or is there a moment of connection and presence where we do it consciously, if needed?
 Do we do the stronger/strongest variation of a pose when our teacher gives us options? Or do we mix it up, class to class, depending on how we feel?

Without judgement, generally most students will do every single vinyasa, every single pose, and the strongest pose on offer. It’s just what we do.

And we live in a city that encourages this, so it’s understandable (PS Sydney, I love you, but your energy is HIGH and loaded with expectation).

But man, I adore December, and I adore tired students, because bone-tired-yogis finally allow themselves to slow down a bit, to stop, to smell the roses, to see things with new eyes.

It’s tiny. It’s just 5%. But wowser, I’m not going to lie, it’s life-changing.

So beloved, tell me, are you able to back out of your busy-ness just 5% this last week before christmas? What would that look like? When you’re walking in the streets, driving in the car, finishing up at work, connecting with friends – can you ease off, just 5%? In your yoga, in your exercise, in your Christmas-partying and day-to-day living, can you give yourself just 5% more space?

I’d love to hear how you go xo

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