The first time the term base camp came to mind for describing yoga was when my children were very young and I spent my days looking after them. I had recently read the novel Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer about climbing Mount Everest. In the way I remember it, Krakauer describes base camp as a camp at an altitude where the climbers are safe and where they can breathe.
We were living in London and I was home with the children. Our families lived in different countries. At the time it felt right to live this way. Looking after two young children did not leave much time for me. My weekly yoga class on a Tuesday evening quickly became a precious grounding point in my week. It was the one moment every seventh day where it felt okay to give all my attention to myself and connect with body, mind and breath. You can perhaps imagine the crisis I felt within if something came in the way for getting to that Tuesday class…
Every yoga class left me feeling calm and relaxed. I was back at base camp. I was not aware of it at the time, but I can see now that by using the term base camp I was unconsciously referring to my nervous system returning back to rest and relax mode. This is when the body feels safe and does not perceive any danger or stress. That one and a half hour session was exactly what I needed to feel peaceful within and get energy for the following seven days.
The physical practice of yoga is an amazing movement practice. The body is designed to move, and of course not only on the yoga mat! Nowadays I sometimes deviate a bit from my yoga practice and enjoy other forms of movement, such as tennis, swimming and most recently the Vasper machine, which is a strength machine I am really excited about at the moment. And then, out of thin air 🙂 , comes the realisation that I am missing out on a feeling I only get from yoga. That is when I know it is time to get back to “base camp”. It is time to get back to my home on the yoga mat and hold my body moving and breathing in awareness. It is a really good place to let the nervous system come back to rest and relax.
Yoga practice is what gives me the most overall sense of wholeness and presence I know. I love moving in different ways. Yoga is where I land and come back to me. Perhaps you have felt this way too?
I wish you well! Annette X