Flows & Bows: Learning How to Slow Down with Yoga
I don’t know about you, but yoga has been both hit and miss for me. So much focus on being present, pairing breath to movement, exercising patience and grace, practicing stillness and truly confronting what may be hovering beneath the surface. It can be a scary thought for some of us! As a 40-something who typically works out hardcore - we’re talking plyometrics, 24” box jumps, heavy weights, and overall fast and intense routines - the tendency for my mind to wander during certain yoga classes was frequent and I would only revisit warrior, crow and downward dog when I wanted a “recovery” or “active rest” practice.
Cut to March of 2020, when COVID-19 took me in its grip and made me feel like a prisoner in my own body. Bedridden with aches and pains I never knew possible, followed by remote working and quarantine. I was forced to start taking it easier once I had made enough of a comeback to work out again. This time, however, I wanted to experiment with a new rotation that incorporated slower, more intentional movements. Testing my flexibility. Observing sensations in my body as I transitioned from one pose to the next. Finding it in myself to say, “Amy, you’re not less of a rockstar fitness fanatic if you take the calmer road now and then.” And so my relationship with yoga became permanent and committed.
I’m still an intensity lover at heart. Give me burpees, star jumps and all the sweat. But I’m not sure I’d have permitted myself to find a new, well-rounded flow if not forced to stare at four walls for the past year and a half. YouTube channels like Cat Meffan, Gayatri Yoga, Breathe & Flow, and Nicole Wild have pushed me to new limits and abilities I didn’t know I had within me. I can now say that the pandemic and working from home have allowed me to go with the flow (with a bow!), and I’m so much better for it. I would encourage anyone on the fence about giving yoga a real shot to do it for both the mental and physical benefits, and definitely check out some of my favorite channels!