As part of my YTT I have been asked to complete two pieces of homework over the month. Firstly, practising awn sun salutations a day and secondly keeping a journal, either a gratitude journal with reflection on asanas or just the asana diary.
I have found myself combining a morning and nightly journal with my asana journal in one document over the past week. I bought a shiny new notebook and each morning, as instructed, I write three things I’m grateful for, three priorities for the day ahead and one person I want to acknowledge. For asana I think about the physical and internal experience of the practice. Did it have an intention, what emotions came up, what did I notice in the physical body, breath an subtle body as well as any victories. Then at bedtime I write whether I achieved what I had hoped that day, where I could have done better and three things I want to remember.
This week has been very challenging. My beloved dog has had two emergency surgeries and I’m having interviews and trying to find a new job. Mainly I’m just worrying about Charlie. But I have kept up my journalling.
It has been interesting for me to see the connection between my emotions and the physical aspect of asana practice. When I’m worn out by emotions it is very difficult to practice. When I’m a bit angry at the world I push harder, sometimes beyond what I necessarily should. When I’m sad I slow down and really focus on the breath to get away from the sadness. When I’m feeling happy it all comes together and I focus on the breath and try new postures but I can sometimes rush through the practice.
Our bodies and our emotions are completely intertwined and a regular yoga practice helps us to understand this but journalling about the practice helps us to understand the why and the how so much more.
If you’re a yogi then I definitely recommend giving asana journalling a try.
I also have a few book recommendations for starting to consider yoga journalling or just deepening your practice.
- Art of Attention: A yoga practice workbook by Elena Brower and Erica Jago
- Thrive Through Yoga by Nicola Jane Hobbs