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30 Days of Yoga - Be Aware

"If you can't see what you are looking for, see what is there."

That was the quote topping my email from Adriene Mishler today. As soon as I read it I knew day twenty five of my thirty day yoga journey - 'Be Aware' - was going to be a good one. After twenty four days of practicing on my mat in my living room, kids (mostly) absent and the house (mostly) quiet, today was all about drawing it all together and just paying attention to where that has brought me.

Starting in extended child's pose seemed the perfect place to start. Aside from the belly issue (think back to the toxic thoughts of day six), I absolutely love this pose. For starters, it amplifies my breath in a little cavern I have created with my own body so I can't help but be startled by and then gradually more connected with, my breath. It also makes me nostalgic for the younger me, the child who might have curled up like this during a game of hide and seek, or whilst cuddling my favourite teddy.

I've noticed before, that as Adriene talks to me (and the millions of others watching her You Tube channel) in this pose, her voice becomes softer and rounder and fuzzier at the edges. I suspect this is not just to do with her mouth getting closer to her radio mic, but also to do with what the pose means to her. The rest she is offering her students, the restorative time, the potential of a moment of peace. I almost feel like we're hidden together under a den we've made out of duvets and she's whispering right at me. Just me.

Then she brings me out of it into a hovering tabletop pose and I curse the very ground she walks on.

Not really.

Because it's all just there for us to be aware of it, isn't it? The shake in my legs as I'm hovering in that tabletop. The sense of contentment I get in extended child's pose. The rainbow the Lads pointed out to me in town yesterday. The soft press of my husband's hand against mine as we walk down the street. If we're not aware of it, does it have any real worth? Don't we bring the value to it?

And speaking of value . . . today was the day of exchanging Little Lad's crappy school shoes at a well-known shoe retailer and whilst I was in town I had a good old squizz in TK Maxx.

Before I had children, TK Maxx was basically my safe space. Oh how I loved rifling through the rails and rails of quirky clothes, delighting in the fact that something that apparently should have been fifty million quid was actually only twenty because it bore the TX Maxx white label. Those aisles of outlandish shoes, the mountains of shiny handbags and the shelves of bizarre homeware items were my shopping haven.

Then I had babies that turned into lean, mean, wailing machines (aka toddlers) and those happy times faded sadly away.

But now, dear people, that the Lads are detained in educational enterprise five days a week, the fantasy of TK Maxx can be a reality once more.

So I dragged the hubby in, did a little squeal at the plethora of wicker baskets as we walked in the door, and allowed the stark, white light of the shop floor to envelop me. Hmmmm. What would I look for? What did I need?

I trailed my hand along a row of jazzy activewear leggings. Maybe some with golden polka dots? I felt the hubby shudder tangibly at my side and moved swiftly on.

What about a set of new copper pans? Or a floor-length coat with feather bits? Or who doesn't need a tasseled swimsuit emblazoned with pineapples and bits cut out of it in alarming places?

Then I saw not only what I was looking for, but also what was there.

Because my old yoga mat is falling to pieces and leaving bits of churned up foam all over my carpet every time I use it. Because this one is green and pretty and matches my living room. Because I just know, without a doubt, that I will be keeping up my daily yoga practice after the thirty-day shenanigans are over. Because I'm aware that it's what I need on so many different levels.

Just because, right?

Go well,


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