Archive for January, 2010

On not having to change yourself before…

by on Jan.10, 2010, under Musings on Yoga

I was inspired by something that I read recently by the writer and teacher Elizabeth Stark. “Becoming a different person–the kind of person whose desk is always clear, whose bills are always paid, who gracefully juggles all life’s challenges and looks for more–is a LOT harder than writing a book!” Read her blog.

I hear this as:  you don’t have to make things perfect before settling down to tackle your dreams. How freeing! You don’t have to try so hard to be good, or on top of things, or even to change. Just get down to your passion and life purpose. Find out what is most important to you and get on with it. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, or until the laundry is all done to allow yourself the freedom to be messy and creative, and fulfilled. Maybe it’s about priorities too, and acceptance of things as they are. That’s the yoga. Letting go of some of our ideas that we have to change, or have better work, or practice habits, or be better somehow in order to to participate in what we love. As Byron Katie encourages in Loving What Is, this IS what IT’s all about. Then if we take this loving what is, or what we are in the moment, and apply it to creative processes like yoga practice, book writing, painting, journaling, whatever–then things do happen, work gets done, creative ideas flow and get followed through on. So, yoga practice isn’t about becoming better, it’s about accepting what is.

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The Joys and Challenges of Home Practice

by on Jan.07, 2010, under Musings on Yoga

Many are the joys of a home yoga practice: No commute. Choice of practice and music or silence. The pleasure of solitude. No one to bump up against physically or otherwise. Pace is set to one’s own breath and heartbeat. Time to reflect and nourish. Fee is waived!

The downside of home practice:  If small children are about interruptions are frequent, or small bodies use your body as a jungle gym. No one to keep you going if inspiration/motivation fail.

The primary reason that students do not practice at home is that they do not know how to practice, how to sequence, how to pace themselves. They were never taught this  because they always relied on their teacher.  But there is a way to learn the art of home practice.  It’s important to find a teacher who can help you set up a home practice, and lead you through an updated practice every now and again. Another reason students shirk home practice is lack of quiet and space to practice in. If you do not have a dedicated place in your home to practice it’s very easy to get distracted by the phone, web, family voices. Try to carve out a small corner in your home that is ONLY for yoga or meditation practice. This will cue your body to practice every time you look at that space. One more cited reason (I’ve asked my students) why they don’t practice on their own is that some of them  are self-employed, or live alone. They look forward to the rich community found in their local yoga studio. It pulls them out of isolation, and into connection and relationship. Relationship, after all is the essence of Yoga- the yoke of it all, making two into one.

I’d love to hear your comments on home practice. What are your struggles?  Your inspirations?

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