During my evening class last week I had a student ask me how often I practice yoga? My response was not often on my mat, but very often off my mat. She looked puzzled. Or maybe even that look of….this lady is fruity.
The reality is I am a mother of two children with busy schedules. My husband who is very supportive of me and our family works long hours. Often his work requires that he travel. I have a home that I enjoy keeping nice, and we all know the time and energy that can take. I love reading, as well as researching information pertaining to yoga. This helps me grow as a teacher. It also helps me keep my classes fun to share with my students. I have my friends and I have my work. More time is spent with work than friends, but I am happy to have the fortune of both. Lastly mentioned, but not lastly thought of our “poochy woochy” Eddie needs my love too! FYI “poochy woochy” translates to a 25 lb, handsome, slightly playful, buff color Cocker Spaniel.
Summed up, my yoga mat doesn’t get rolled very often for my own personal exploration, or personal practice. However, what I do have time for is trying to approach the day-to-day with a heightened sense of awareness. Not heightened in the sense that I had one too many lattes at breakfast, but rather being present in action, in thought, in interaction…..
For example, as I walk I may notice the heel to ball to toe action with each step. Or I may notice how my torso sways a bit with each swing of my arms. When I’m standing in line at the store, or at my kitchen sink I take a moment to notice if my weight is shifted more to one side than the other. If so, I adjust seeking balance between each foot. I might even take the time to suck the leg muscles to the bones, as I draw my belly button to my spine, and take a nice breath in. If I were on my mat, I believe that would be called Mountain Pose…..No?
An example of being present in thought, is simply being aware of the chatter that lies within. If I make my way to Costco only to find that I left my well made list at home…this has happened to me more than once. Do I refer to myself as an idiot? Or, do I acknowledge that I am trying to do too many things at once? If I see myself as an idiot, I’m also saying that I’m inadequate. This is not a supportive thought. If I see myself as simply being over busy, I can be more productive in coming up with systems that help me have more success with tasks that need to be done in a day. So, if you are in Forward Bend and the hands do not meet the Earth… do you think to yourself…. I can’t do Yoga, because I’m not flexible enough. Or, do you grab some blocks and bring the Earth to you? If you give up, you aren’t being supportive of what could be. If you grab those blocks you’re opening yourself up to all that can be.
Lastly, being present in interaction allows you to be mindful in how you share yourself with others. A little smile can go a long way. An honest compliment about one’s appearance, or talent can make someone’s afternoon a little brighter….even if only for a moment. The simple words Thank You with sincere eye contact can let someone know their efforts are truly appreciated. Ahhhhh, this is the moment of Namaste. Seeing the good in others, as we see the good in ourselves. This is also the way most yoga classes, and definitely my yoga classes, end their practice. So you see, Yoga can be taken anywhere within your day. All you need is YOU! No mat required.