Updated: Oct 5, 2019
The mid week slump. You've gotten through Monday-itis and Tuesday (its ugly little sister) and you're almost ready to coast through to the glorious weekend. But first, hump day.
If you're anything like me you kicked the week off with a bang, full of positivity and energy. You've set intentions for balancing long work days with some healthy exercise, some evening work on your personal projects, and a nice helping of late night Netflix, amiright? But by Wednesday you realise that after your WORK work, you haven't written a word on your own stuff or done so much as a single sit up, other than to hit NEXT EPISODE on Black Mirror like the addict you are.
If you are anything like me, you are tired already (and just a little bit cranky), you're talked out from teaching but you also know that your creative itch needs to be scratched or your brain will explode and if you don't move your body properly all your bits will seize up. Everything feels a little bit jammed up. Body and brain. The best way to clear my head ready to write, is to move.
For me, at this point, it's yoga or die. And when I say yoga, I mean HOT yoga which of course means I am a complete lunatic and might actually die.
I love hot yoga. Because I can't do anything by halves, I love extremes, and I am nothing if not competitive. Yes I know that completely defeats the real purpose of yoga, but I am an Aries, what can I say. And what's ten times better than doing yoga? Doing yoga in a blistering sauna that you can't escape from! Right on!
However, despite the crazy heat, I'm not one of those lithe, flexible, yoga body people. Far too many years doing PUMP class, weights, skating, running I'm afraid. This means I am not bendy in the slightest (FYI, 'no my leg does not go that way'). It's a challenge, to say the least. But I'm nothing if not up for it. The challenge of yoga that is ... wow, you have a dirty mind.
But I do love the yogas. All jokes aside, it gives me time out to focus, to breathe, to recalibrate. It helps my body and my creativity, and hence my writing. Also, hours spent hunched over a keyboard does horrible things to your spine ... I NEED yoga so I don't end up with a dowager's hump. It's actually a thing, google it, you really don't want one!
Put simply, when I'm tired, blocked, feeling ooky... yoga makes me feel all sparkly. I try to practice regularly but even when my practice slips, yoga is my non-negotiable hump day ritual. It gets me back on track.
But it's not just about how it makes my body feel (although that's important, healthy body, healthy mind after all). Yoga can do more than just stretch your body and clear your mind. Certain postures can quite literally do magic. Seriously...
So in honour of hump day, today we are going to celebrate my favourite posture... CAMEL. No, it doesn't actually look like kitty on the right.
Otherwise known as USTRASANA, camel posture is the deepest back bend of the hot yoga series and one of the postures where you reap the most benefits.
More beneficial than any of the considerable physical benefits, I love camel for what it does for my creativity. Camel (Ustrasana) opens up and strengthens both the heart and throat chakras, which are linked to communication, expressing yourself, opening your heart... all important things for me as a writer.
To be honest, camel used to terrify me. Not because it was hard or because I wasn't bendy (although I did get stuck in it a couple of times way back when), but because it used to make me cry. The release of tension, of any blockages, of anything held back, unsaid, anything buried, is really astounding. I would come out of camel posture and fight tears many times. But it was good for me. Honest.
Now I look forward to camel. It gets me 'unstuck' in more ways than one. In fact I am one of those horribly annoying people up the front, right up close to the mirror, who lets out a little "YAY" when the instructor says 'let's do two sets of camel' TWO! I know everybody else hates me for it but it's okay, they get their own back in Standing Separate Leg, Head to Knee Pose when I am struggling, looking a little like this, and trying desperately not to fart (which is much harder than you think, don't judge - gah!)
I'm not afraid of the tears any more. Not afraid of the release. Not afraid to let things go (FYI we have moved on from flatulence, don't be immature).
I'm no longer afraid to open my heart.
Camel helps me sleep. It helps me write. It helps me communicate freely.
It also stops me walking like an old lady when I get up in the mornings and means I can still touch my toes (you gotta take the wins where you can get them).
So my advice to you is to give it a go. Next time you are feeling blocked or feeling hunched or stuck - especially on hump day - head into the hot room. Go crazy, sweat it out, get bendy. You don't need to be flexible or super fit. You just need to be willing to be open and give it a go. It will change your life, I promise. And you even get to do this really cool thing called Savasana, which is basically sleeping on the floor. It's great!
How do you handle hump day? Is it even a thing for you or is it just another day? What strategies do you employ to carry you through challenging or busy weeks? Leave your thoughts in the comments and don't forget to sign up to the blog community on the blog home page if you haven't already, and hit subscribe in your settings for updates. Feel free to like and share.
Until next time...
Namaste, bitches! NAMASTE!