My 15 minute pyjama yoga practice

Why I get up, shower and do yoga in my pyjamas every damn day.

I’ve practiced yoga on and off for 14 years. My earliest dabble in it was learning via books and DVDs in my bedroom when I was about 20 and suffering from acne conglobata (googling this condition is not advisable when eating). I was on SO. MANY. PRESCRIPTION. PILLS courtesy of consultants and specialists and my GP to treat the bubbling and raw skin on my face, from Roaccutane and steroids to an ongoing concoction of antibiotics.

Back then I didn’t know the hellish damage all these pills were doing to my insides. No doctor told me about the benefits of taking probiotics alongside the anti ones. I was 20, so my diet was questionable too. Before the acne struck, seemingly overnight, I was out on the town regularly with the girls, flirting with guys and my main concerns really were the contents of my wardrobe and affording a few vodka lime and lemonades. It was a time when the word Hipster referred to the low waisted Miss Sixty trousers I was so desperate for.

So when I didn’t leave the house for near on 6 months apart from to go to the hospital and even then with a scarf pulled up to my eyeballs because little kids had previously pointed and asked ‘what’s wrong with that girls face mummy?’, something compelled me to try yoga. It might have even been my mum, who used to attend evening classes through her work.

Amazon was my bezzie, and I ordered books and DVDs to study in my bedroom. Back then it really was just about movement and holding certain positions and trying to get the Geri Halliwell abs. I hadn’t connected that breathing or spirituality was a part of the practice. But little by little my body started to change. Roaccutane can give you arthritic type pain but yoga seemed to counter that. It gave me something to focus on at a time when Instagram wasn’t a thing.

Once my face finally started to heal (we’re talking months down the line) and I subsequently had laser treatment to my cheeks to help with the scarring, yoga dropped away in importance as I tried to reclaim my old life back, reconnect with friends and brush it all off with a huge dose of fake confidence, almost dismissal.

My twenties whizzed by and again I went to the odd class and did some bits at home. I remember joining the class at the doctors surgery where my mum was a receptionist, joining older ladies as we arched and warrior’d and bridged together one evening a week.

I used to spend a lot of money going to classes and I still will every now and then but I recently realised that I actually now feel confident in the nuts and bolts of it thanks to great teachers i’ve had over the years. From the gentle Sue Delf, the patient Jaina, wonderful Laurent who I had the pleasure of learning from in the middle of a retreat in Slovenia some years back and the gorgeous Abi Adams who I take inspo from on Instagram and who led a class I attended at Ally Pally last year for International Yoga Day. Experiencing different teaching approaches to guide you through a practice is one of the cool things about yoga. Some classes will be more serious or spiritual than others and once you’ve got to grips with the basics, you can then adapt your own personal practice by pick’n’mixing from all that you’ve learned.

So!

After reading Hal Elrod’s ‘Miracle Morning’ book about a year ago and switching up my morning routine – more on that here – I went about introducing yoga into my life, DAILY. And I’m not all fancy pants about it either. I will shower, throw on whatever clean pjs I can find, probably keep some snuggly socks on and start an unguided 15 mins yoga show for Rupert, who, warm by the radiator on the sofa literally couldn’t give a rats arse.

I start with arms and shoulders, releasing out any caught tension there. Then on to neck and back and stretching out the back of the legs. Then some simple twists to wring out the spine further and massaging the internal organs, often accompanied by some satisfying creaks and cracks. Then laying down postures, supporting the sacrum and hips.

My 15 minute morning yoga routine…timelapse style!

And pics of some of the poses you might not make out from the video….

{Actual Rupert actually downward dogging while I do the same…}

{And now he does a little doggy plank}

BIG TIP: Don’t really hold on to any postures. Let everything relax and go. From your tongue which might be naturally held at the roof of your mouth, let that flop around instead as you release your jaw. To your stomach muscles, literally flop them out too. Over the years i’ve become pro at sucking in the belly to make me look thinner and think I took this into my early yoga classes. Now it’s all about letting go of as much tension as possible. The way I imagine it is to try and capture the feel of your body just before you fall asleep, when everything naturally relaxes. So say if i’m laying on my back and twisting my right knee over to the left – like this  – it used to be tempting to force certain elements of this pose. I would hold my head and neck still, focus on my bottom leg being perfectly straight. But now I opt for the perfectly imperfect version, where letting go of any tension actually helps to release me further into the posture, adding that extra stretch.

Now clearly I’m not perfect, but I’m not trying to be a yogi. I just want to gently wake up my body and get the blood flowing each and every day. Stretching me out, doing some twisting and arching just for around 15 minutes makes me feel good and that’s enough for me for now.

Vx

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One response to “My 15 minute pyjama yoga practice”

  1. Jaina says:

    Hey Vicky it is so great to read your blog and thanks for sharing the intimate space of your practice. A morning routine has kept me in tune and in touch with my mind, body and soul and it makes me so happy to see others do the same too. Your journey has been inspiring and may you continue to find comfort and strengtg in your practice. Sending you lots of love xxx

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