“How can we make our yoga practice part of our daily life?” This was the question that Pat, my yoga teacher, posed at the end of meditation yesterday morning.
I always love the last 20 minutes of my morning yoga classes, we do about 15 minutes of savasana and 5 minutes of guided meditation, a wonderful way to end the class and begin the day. When we finally bow our heads with our hands at our heart centre, I feel lighter and happier that I’ve just spent the last hour concentrating on practice. I leave the studio in a state of mellow exhaustion, happy to see the sun shining outside. The rest of the city is just beginning their day, walking or driving, on their way to work. I climb into my car, put on a beautiful song – usually “Who needs shelter” pull into traffic and begin my trip home.
It’s usually at this point in the morning, about 3 minutes since I’ve left the studio, that some jack ass pulls in front of me almost causing an accident and causes me to relinquish that wonderful mellow feeling. This abandonment of my mellowness is usually accompanied by a string of profanity that would make buddha blush. Instantly regretting and usually muttering about it not being very “yogaisk” I continue on my way.
What does it mean to bring your practice into your daily life? Should it be a literal thing? We do a lot of breath work sending the breath to places in our bodies that are being opened up or have tension. There is also the grounding work of making sure that your feet are planted and that you’ve achieved balance in your centre before you attempt the next pose. Is it the philosophical aspect of being “present” in everything we do, instead of dwelling on what has already happened or what could happen. I am sure this question is to make us think of all these things, I do know, that if I asked Pat she would tell me there is no right answer to the question and that by thinking about it I’m actually doing it.
I do find that in certain situations, that taking a moment and breathing in, works wonders. I try to bring this concept to my daily movements, especially when I’m driving around the city. Between the drivers who don’t look or think before they move, and cyclist who seem to believe that they are above the rules of the road and can do whatever they want, it can be a very stressful place. A deep breath, reconnecting with my “inner” self can sometimes stave off the profanity for a few seconds, however, it is usually a loosing battle.
I wish I could take that mellow feeling of a great practice and carry with me for the rest of the day, some little bits do linger but I am beginning to understand why you should do this 3 times a week, to top off the “mellow tank”. It is human nature to dream and wonder of the future. Unfortunately, swearing at the jack ass who pulled a bone head move and almost causing an accident, is also part of being human. I believe that we can take some of the concepts of our yoga practice into our daily lives, however, I am beginning to believe that your practice must run very deep.
I am going to make a concerted effort to take more of these concepts into my daily life, to keep that mellow feeling going. I’ll let you know how that works out.