As I have continued to work on my at-home yoga practice, I find I am learning about much more than just yoga.
This makes sense, of course, since the word yoga means “union” (yes, I googled that).
As the story goes, the postures themselves arose out of watching and then imitating the natural movements of birds, animals, fish…..which also makes sense, given how many of the postures are named after animals (“downward-facing dog,” “cat-cow,” “puppy posture,” et al).
Every day my teacher, Adriene (of #yogawithadriene if you want to check her out on YouTube) asks us a series of profound questions while I am wobbling around on the mat. Today’s question was about how we move into and out of things in our life.
For instance, say there is a very fit, toned young woman standing in front of me on the screen who is moving gracefully into a really cool (but impossible looking) pose.
I would very much like to emulate her. So, rushing ahead with more enthusiasm than actual attention, I crank and crunch my body into a semblance of the vision I see before me.
Not surprisingly, Adriene continues balancing gracefully while I crash to the ground in my very best imitation of an airplane with no wings.
As I attempt to collect myself up off the hardwoods yet again, Adriene as gracefully exits the posture, moving with great care and poise to put arms, legs, torso and hind end right back where she found them.
Clearly, the way Adriene moves into and out of things in her life works better – and is much safer – than the way I move into and out of things.
The more daily time I log on my yoga mat, the more I realize that appearances are nothing. This is something I really should know already since I live in Texas, a place where humidity and heat are constantly competing for who gets to be King of the Hill on any given day.
Let’s say I wash and dry and style and flat iron and smooth my hair just so. It looks perfect – and I mean PERFECT. I am so pleased. Finally – a “good hair day” of my very own!
I get dressed, accessorize, select comfy yet stylish shoes. Then I open my front door. Quicker than you can say “heat wave,” all that hard work is engulfed in a giant thermal hug that leaves me dreaming of showers, deodorant and do-overs.
As Adriene constantly reminds us, she didn’t get to where she is on the mat today by rushing through the process to get to the pose. She also reminds us that how we move into and out of things on the mat is likely the very same way we move into and out of things off the mat.
Which clearly means I’ve got my work cut out for me!
Today’s Takeaway: How do you move into and out of your daily moments? Do you feel like one moment is naturally connected to the next with ease and grace? Or is it more like one of those adult rollercoaster experiences where your head is feeling the rush while your vertebrae are tapping out for all they are worth? Do you have any kind of centering practice or routine – like yoga, meditation, coloring, crossword puzzles – that helps you gather all of yourself back up into one cohesive unit yet again? I’d love to hear what works for you!