Mala BeadsHello Yoga Mat. I like to blame the fact that I moved to a new city and couldn’t find a studio that I liked on the fact that I haven’t been consistently going to yoga this past year. I have dabbled in a few classes, but I haven’t been as dedicated to my practice as I was when I was still home.

The problem was that I kept comparing each studio and their teachers with the studios & teachers that I was familiar with. The ones that I loved and followed back at home. Even though I kept telling myself that it is unrealistic to compare them every time I went to a new class I couldn’t help it. It was hard to separate those feelings, and the action of comparing. I knew what I was looking for, and I wasn’t ready to walk away from what I knew for something unknown. Eventually I gave up searching for my perfect studio and finally after some serious hunting, I had found a couple places that I can call my studio.

In these last two weeks I realized that I had completely forgot about what it’s like to be back on the mat.

For one thing, the emotions that come flooding back, the ones that I worked so hard to balance out when I first discovered yoga, and the new ones, that I didn’t even realize were sitting just below the surface.

After battling with the fun emotional aspect of being back in my practice continually was coming to terms with the fact that it is ok that I cannot touch my toes, or get into crow pose anymore! Let us remember our good friends: props! They are amazing, and help immensely with building confidence in yourself and your practice. It is not the end of the world that I cannot gracefully get to the top of my mat from downward dog, what truly matters, is that I am here; I made it to my mat today.

Then there is the remembering to breathe part. Apparently I forgot how to do that while following along to my teachers’ instructions. Why am I holding my breath!? I find this a little funny as I continue to catch myself not inhaling and exhaling. You don’t always have to follow along with the inhale/exhale of the movement. But girl, for the love of god, exhale!

One of the last things that I have noticed is the serious case of Monkey Mind!

I mean I never really had it mastered, I always had room for improvement, but oh my gosh these last couple of weeks I had forgotten that my mind just can’t help it, it just wanders off. What am I going to have for dinner tonight? I really don’t want to cook. Did I call my mom this week? Did I send out that email?

I have let it get out of control and I have to constantly remind myself to reel it back in. Then I would start to think – I’m here on this mat at this moment, why am I thinking about stuff outside of this room. Focus on the moment, and the positive energy you’re putting out into the universe. Then, getting upset with myself, I’d interrupt my thoughts with a stern, Brenna, stop it.

I realized that I was not enjoying my time spent on the mat, and that all of this quibbling with myself was taking away from why I was really there.

So, what do I do to battle this Monkey Mind of mine you ask? I use a Mantra. I had forgotten my tried and true mantra and after the first few classes I realized it was time to pull it back out! Mine is:  I am here, I am happy, I am successful. (Stay tuned for my upcoming post about Battling Monkey Mind and tips for developing your own mantra)

So there they are: my first world problems during my first couple of weeks back at it! I am so grateful that I’ve found a studio I like here in the Emerald City, and that I am able to share this quirky feed-back with you!

What are some of your realizations once you’ve been away from your practice for a period of time (short or long), I’d love to hear your experiences!