I planned to do a 90 minute practice when the kids left for school and before I taught. Instead I got a call from my daughter that she had forgotten her viola for the in-school orchestra concert. I dropped off her instrument at the school. As we had no food, I went to the grocery store and, since I was already out, ran other errands. I felt I was going down the rabbit hole and it was unlikely I would get to my mat.
This was my practice:
- 20 Minute Meditation - When I did return home, I asked myself what I needed most that day. All weekend I was very active. Walking around campus, climbing up 5 flights of stairs to my dorm room, one yoga class at the campus boat house (the picture is right before class at the boat house). What I needed was to sit, be still and let the threads of my thoughts weaken.
- Breath Practice - As I grocery shopped, cleaned out the fridge and put the food away, ran my errands, and generally went about my business, I paid attention to my breathing. Whenever I noticed my breath shortening, speeding up or pausing, I consciously altered it to breath deeply and slowly.
- Thought Watching - I began to pay closer attention to how I was talking to myself. Was I berating myself or speaking to myself as a friend? The first step in such a practice is to observe. And to not be hard on yourself for being hard on yourself.
This practice is not just a mat practice. It is a practice for how we live our lives.