I felt privileged and excited when Dharma asked me to be a guest blogger. But, I’m with Heather, I’ve felt a bit stumped on how to begin. I wasn’t sure how exactly to get started writing about practice here – especially when my own rock-solid practice stumbled leading up to our teacher training exam and graduation. But as we learn through yoga, the most important part is in the awareness, in releasing any expectations, judgements, or frustration and really noticing what it feels like – On the day that I do practice versus the day that I missed – On the day that I consciously work to know myself, and the day when I just could not seem to focus.
I could ramble on about what my practice normally entails and the stories behind how I got here, but I’ll save all that. What I’d like to do for now is talk about what my practice looked like on a particularly imperfect day last week. One thing that I have learned is that we can very easily set up expectations for ourselves in practice and in general – and let it all fall apart when we fail to meet them.
On this particular morning, I awoke to my husband’s alarm which rings a full hour AFTER my own morning practice wake-up call. This oops was set in motion early the day prior by skipping the reset of my own alarm – and was ensured by dropping my head on the pillow before completing the nightly fail-safe check (Discipline supports you when you aren’t on your game – but only if you follow through). Well, crap. He hit snooze and I laid there for another minute or three before rolling over and heading straight into the next room (Pajamas are perfect to practice in – Do not dawdle, just practice). Center-Sankalpa-Uttanasana-Sirsasana-Balansana. 10 minutes of sitting. 15 minutes total. (Breathe. Do what you have time for. Don’t skip savasana). I skipped my shower in favor of practice (Make conscious choices. And keep a freshen-up kit in your desk drawer at work – just in case!)
This may not be my ideal, or what my practice looks like most mornings. I could talk about sequencing or skipping savasana, but the intent and effort were true. And without these, practice won’t happen. And without practice, well….
I was more fully present and more capable on this day because I practiced. This is what matters. It was a good day. “I” was a better “me”.
The subtext to the story is the lesson for me – and maybe for you too if you find it helpful. Let’s focus on the top three:
- Do what you have time for.
- Remember to breathe.
- Don’t skip savasana.
Easy enough, right?!
I’ll talk more in depth about discipline, consistency, and one of my favorite topics, kindness, in the coming weeks. If a personal yoga practice is something you do or are working toward, please follow along – I’d love to discuss and learn from each other here or on my personal blog. And I’d like to invite you to join me at the Yoga Garden
on Saturday, May 28th for a donations-based workshop on Cultivating Your Home Practice
, I hope you’ll join me. Please let me know if you have any questions or thoughts that you would like to discuss!