Lets hear it for the boys!

So I wanted to write this little blog while I felt inspired to. The last few weeks I’ve been hanging out more with men. Friends old and new. More seem to be coming into my life recently. It wasn’t a conscious thing but as I look back its definitely been happening more frequently.

And yesterday, having just left coffee with one of my good male friends…bouncing down the escalator to my train, relaxed, rejuvinated and happy…I came to the realisation that my life is rich with some incredible men. Strong in spirit and mind. Emotionally connected. They know who they are and are not afraid or ashamed (this may be an assumption) to admit that they are not perfect nor do they have all the answers. They wan’t to be connected to the women in their lives. They want to love and support their partners, family and friends.

The strength and confidence I take from just being around my good male friends is huge and I think I have taken it for granted in the past.

This is not to play down the women in my life. My ladies are literally my heart….we understand each other like no other. We get how wonderfully complex we are…its beautiful. We don’t always help each other though. Our empathetic, advice giving ways can, I think, disempower us. We love to chat to our female friends about our problems(well I do!)….perhaps too much? I sometimes leave conversations with my girlfriends feeling worse than I did before hand. I sometimes take my friends advice and neglect my own inner navigation system. I think this can be unhelpful. Ladies in my life…I love you, don’t change…your perfect 🙂

Anyway…this is rarely the case when I sit down with one of my male friends. They rarely let me go too far into my ‘poor me’ routine..they simply don’t allow space for that. They focus on my strengths rather than my weaknesses. They often see sides of me I don’t even recognise in myself…yet. They focus on what they see in front of them. A strong, feisty, independent woman. It’s just awesome!

And so…while I totally acknowledge my strength and independence. I have zero desire to live in a world without penty strong men in my life.

So ‘Thankyou’ to all the amazing men I know and are yet to meet and may I keep attracting more of you in!

Anything to share? please comment below……

Why I practice Ashtanga Yoga – A Response to ‘Why I gave up Ashtanga Yoga’

Last week I read a blog post entitled ‘Why I gave up Ashtanga Yoga‘. Have a read!

You can guess the gist from the title…but here is why it ruffled my feathers enough to respond in a blog.

The Author describes how she, after practicing Ashtanga Yoga ‘for a long time’ (I’m not quite sure what that means?). She found  ‘real’ happiness and has since jumped off her mat, given it up totally and feels much better for it thank you very much! This I respect, she gave something a good shot…it wasn’t for her and she’s moved on…all good!

She then goes on to state how she believes that those people who practice 6 days a week have something missing in their lives and will not find it on their Manduka mat (other yoga mats are available) and furthermore says that practicing so much can be injurious and dangerous and refers to this article as back up.

There are many sweeping statements in this blog. However it is not the content I have an issue with. I actually think some of her points are valid….these are my thoughts….

Its a Balance

Life should be a balance. Perhaps a 6 day a week practice is not appropriate for everyone? Personally I feel 5 days to be best for me. It keeps my energy levels in check. And since my full practice is around 2 hours on days where my energy is low or I have time constraints I will adapt it to fit into my day.

Why I do it

I have practiced Ashtanga Yoga for around 10 years. There have been many ups and downs. Times of strength and working through injury (always the most informative and challenging times). I have changed my approach to my practice many times…from full power to soft and everything in between.

The pressure and guilt that she reports feeling I’m sure is common…I have felt it myself, its not unique to yoga…us humans are impatient to get somewhere fast and personally thats one of the things that I love about the practice..the mental challange. But, if now I begin to find that I feel depleted from my practice rather than feeling that it supports me (which it does especially in the tough times).  Then I can adapt. Its the beauty of being responsible for ourselves as adults!

I do not see myself leaving my Ashtanga practice behind AND I would never say never! Who knows what the future will bring. All I know is that for now I feel thankful every time I step onto my mat for having the time, physical ability, and inclination to do this at all!

It comes down to respect

What really bothers me about this blog is the tone that she takes. The condemnation of those students and teachers who do choose to practice regularly, passionately, week in week out. Giving up their time and income to travel and study in Mysore annually. Mysore program teachers who rise super early every day to go and support their students. It does sound like the author did have a regular teacher and I for one would be very sad if one of my students had written a blog such as this.

Us Ashtanga practitioners may be crazy on some level and its certainly an unusual lifestyle choice…but it is our choice to make…so perhaps it would have been more gracious to let us get on with it.