It's Christmas Eve and we are in Baltimore visiting family. The kids are in bed and it's a perfect time for some restorative yoga. Even if you only have five minutes, take that time to care for yourself. It adds up!!
I suppose it's not news to share that we're not always going to feel emotions of peace in life or on the mat. Sometimes what this practice reflects back at us is not always comfortable and easy. And we may want to distract or"fix" ourselves as quickly as possible.
Try this instead and see what happens:
Freedom comes when we relax when stuff arises inside and when things hit us from the outside. When we don't get upset or discomfited by "unacceptable" emotions or experiences. I'm not there yet, but I keep moving, sitting and breathing. I invite you to join me!
What does a practice look like during the holidays? In the midst of all the busyness, how can we practice?
By remembering that our practice is how we live our lives. It's about our time on our mats -- and about our relationships, our thoughts, breathing through our days, finding moments to pause and notice, and being who we are and doing what we can do.
I invite you to join me in this daily practice:
1. Move your body. Dance in the kitchen. Stretch on the stairs. Explore poses on the mat. Stretch at your desk. Include anyone around you in the fun.
2. Breathe deeply. When you are in traffic or late. When anyone looks at you "funny." When you are waiting patiently in line or your computer crashes. When you are having a conversation with someone or figuring out travel plans.
3. Find some quiet time. A minute. Two minutes. 5 minutes. There's an "old zen saying" that you should sit for 20 minutes a day. Unless you're too busy. Then you should sit for an hour. But seriously, 5 minutes is good.
Bonus: Laugh. At everything. Especially yourself. If you need inspiration, look online for funny videos like Princess Rap Battles or just about anything by JP Sears (start with How to Be Ultra Spiritual). Two of my favorites.
This Sunday night, the Yoga Sutras Discussion Group meets (at 6:30pm if you'd like to join us). We have been using this passage for introspection. I invite you all to join us in contemplating how this practice could impact your life. I am going to include some of the discussion from Swami Satchidananda as a guide:
Whether you are interested in reaching samadhi or plan to ignore Yoga entirely, I would advise you to remember at least this one Sutra.... In my own experience, this Sutra became my guiding light to keep my mind serene always.