I have had some big weeks around here. I started a new yoga job and jumped into teaching 6 more classes a week. I attended a weekend workshop with Jenn Wooten about hyper-mobility last Saturday and am thrilled to be workshopping with Gary Kraftsow this week. My smart-friend Katherine (featured on this blog) is coming with her husband and baby on Wednesday (yay!) AND I have a serious cold. It has been difficult to decide what to write about. Sometimes I get so much going on in my head that I don’t focus well. It’s funny to me that dharana (focus) is one of the most important aspects of a yoga practice and here I am with a schedule all filled up with yoga and focus is what I lack.
There is part of me that likes a frenetic following of impulses. I like being busy. I like having an idea and then making a connection in my mind, searching the internet for more information, and then getting a cup of tea because something warm would be so soothing. While the kettle is heating, I’ll check out chin hairs in the mirror and then I might as well pick up a few of these dirty clothes from the floor. Kettle toots, I get tea, come back to computer. Facebook. Why not? Did someone text me? I’m going to check…and …back to writing. When I let my mind jump around, I don’t get too involved in anything that I’m doing. Time passes and I don’t have a lot to show for it.
My new work schedule and workshops mean that I’m clocking 15-30 hours of yoga related stuff a week. Is all this yoga helping me to master my mind and energy and helping me to connect more deeply with my Self? Is my week better because I have so much yoga activity? I bet you know the answer… I love yoga because my life has more meaning when I’m practicing. I can stay connected to the people and the activities that are important to me. I can prioritize how I spend my time and energy and that time is more meaningful when I am mindful and present with those priorities. Packing in yoga activities without balance, time to integrate, time for my practice doesn’t make me a better yogini. It pulls me away from the connection and the mindfulness.
If two hours of yoga a week is all you have in your schedule, and you practice with intention and mindfulness, if that practice helps you to be more present with your partner and your kids, if it means you can stand on your tip-toes and reach that jar without getting a foot cramp, then right on. That is a practice to feel good about. If your yoga practice helps you to connect with your breath and tune into your body in a deep and conscious way, beautiful. Why practice yoga if it isn’t actually helping us in our quest to understand ourselves better and to live our awesome lives? If we are spending time learning about yoga, let it be meaningful time spent with a practice that supports us in our efforts to focus on the people, activities and things that are important.