I have a problem of getting caught up in work and obligations and forgetting to feed my soul. Though I played a lot as a child, I was also a competitive gymnast, which is a bit like having a job at a young age, along with your schoolwork. Like most people, I placed less and less importance on play and fun as a I grew into an adult. And now that I've been an adult for a long time, I'm further and further away from those days where emphasis was on play. When I forget to feed my soul, I don't feel like myself. I feel like a shell, going through the motions of work, with the habits of my personality on display, but with a void deep inside. I don't mind being sad sometimes - sadness is a part of the human experience. But being empty - that's not cool. Yoga makes you aware of what your soul needs so that you're reminded to feed it.
How do you feed your soul? Well, that depends on your soul's requirements. For me, it's meditation, asana, nature, play and fun, connection to others and spending time with animals. Yoga is a major player in making me aware of what my soul hungers for. When you do yoga, you get quiet - in mind and in body. The clarity arisen allows prana to cycle freely. When you're quiet, you can hear your soul. You become aware of your feelings. You can see what your present mood is. Your thoughts get recognized as thoughts and you let go of identifying with them. You see unnecessary strife. You boil it away. The internal fights subside. You come to a place where you know what you need, where you know what you've needed all along, even if it's not tangible quite yet.
Perhaps you've lost touch with what brings you joy. Maybe you haven't participated in joy-bringing activities in awhile. Maybe you need to redirect yourself and your schedule so you can come back to feeding your soul. Life happens. Sometimes we get caught up in work and obligations. Though we know life can't be all work, sometimes we find ourselves doing only work, day after day. There must be joy to life. There must be soul-feeding and soul-thriving. The deep-inside must come alive.
If you're feeling out of balance in work/play, you may notice it during your yoga practice. Your practice has a tendency to blow the whistle when you've lost yourself. It can also help because yoga's intent is to bring joy. Each day you get on your mat is an opportunity to free up the body and mind, to play and be lighter. If your practice has become an obligation, remember that it's meant to be fun, to be a little holiday in the middle of your day.
There are those times when we forget to take care of our little souls. And you end up feeling down, not like yourself. Your light is dimmed. Look inside and address the imbalance so that you can come alive again. Sparkle. Shine.