Home Practice 101

ImageDuring the month of July, I worked many extra hours seeing physical therapy clients. My partner and I moved on July 1st to a space that required a near complete re-do of the furniture we owned. Fresh off a June festival / vacation followed by an intensive two week yoga teacher training, much of my non-work attention in July was diverted to a creating a livable, non-trip hazard arrangement of our new home.

I have a whole new compassion for the recently moved!

My personal yoga practice suffered during this time. First, I was absorbing a lot of yoga teachings from others – at Hanuman Festival (which is soo much fun. I hope you’ll join me there next year!), then the very next day and for two solid weeks thereafter in my 500 hour teacher training.

We all need to be inspired and learn from others, but in a balanced way. If you are constantly absorbing other teacher’s yoga classes and are limited on time, formal classes can cut into your own personal practice. I totally let this happen when my home was in chaos.

One way to avoid such lapses is to set goals.

For example, aim for a minimum of 1-3 classes with other teachers per week, and at least 5-6 personal practices. 20 minutes COUNTS! 5 minutes is better than zero minutes. If you are stressed, set a timer. Make your choice reasonable for your life, and schedule it in.

Secondly, I had allowed work and unpacking to become bigger priorities. Own your choice, and decide if it’s really what you most desire.

One Friday in August, I came home exhausted. I had squeezed in multiple extra patients, stayed after work for 1.5 hours to complete documentation, essentially dieted on trail mix since 10 am (it was now 8-something pm), and — as usual — cycled to / from work.

There’s also a substantial hill right before I reach my home.

I NEEDED a personal yoga practice. But I KNEW that if I opened the fridge, or turned on my computer or heck, opened the MAIL, the hope of me having a personal practice that day would be completely dashed.

So (and I nearly always wear some kind of yoga-friendly tank top no matter whether i’m teaching or not), I did the ridiculous. I parked my bike, plopped down my bag, took off my work pants, rolled out my yoga mat not 10 feet into the apartment and started to move…in my undies.

My sweetheart came home in the midst of this practice.

I was in his line of vision as he opened the door to our space, and he started giggling. A lot. He’s a photography lover, and snapped some photos to document, including the one above.

I post this photo not to show my bunda in skivvies. I’m pretty shy about my blindingly pale skin actually 🙂 You’ll rarely even see me in shorts in public!

I post it to demonstrate a pathway to personal self-care success.

To me, this photo represents the success of knowing myself enough to know what I needed to do in that moment. To diminish the power of 10,000 possible distractions. To let go of a preconceived notion of what to wear while doing yoga or where exactly I needed to be to roll out my yoga mat, anything other than … making practice happen.

To me, that evening and the picture that emerged from it represented the success of making my personal practice an easy, welcome state that can be accessed at any time.

What obstacles show up between you and your mat? or your cushion? I’d love to know…comment below or over at facebook.com/SacredSourceYoga

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