We all have (or should have) our own sacred moments or times of the day. Mine is my morning yoga practice which even though I do every day, is often less than peaceful. Just yesterday, my daughter who is not quite three, woke up earlier than usual just as our new puppy, Kala, was vying for some needed attention and love. One groggy toddler and a high-energy puppy equals a very high maintenance duo that this yogini was going to have a hard time controlling.
As I was trying to get through one sequence in my practice, I realized how utterly chaotic my yoga practice had become: My daughter was running around chasing our puppy while he was running up to my mat, trying to kiss me, tug at my yoga shorts and plopping down right underneath me in a downward dog.
I had to surrender and be honest to myself, that today, my yoga practice was not going to be as complete in postures as it normally is. My attention and role as a mother, and now as a dog-owner, would have to take precedence over my stubborn determination to finish those last 20 minutes or so of postures.
So I rolled up my mat a bit begrudgingly and then got on with my motherly duties of doling out attention, affection and then some breakfast to my “two” children.
Yoga is a different form of exercise than other forms of fitness since there is such a strong mental component that forces you to look at your mind as if it were a mirror. Many experts call the ancient practices of yoga, tai chi and qigong as moving meditations. As you move and breathe, you tune inward to the thoughts and sensations that circle round and round in our minds with the ultimate hope of observing them and allowing them to pass without having them ruffle the stillness that we seek to cultivate.
I tried this attempt with Kala and my daughter. And it worked. It enabled me to roll up my mat and stop practicing rather than trying to push through those final postures, and get my practice done in a way that is familiar and comfortable to me and it prevented my daughter and puppy from further scampering around all in the effort to get me to pay attention to them.
It seems that it’s an oxymoron to utter the words chaos and yoga in the same situation, but anyone who has practiced yoga is probably a bit familiar with the external or internal chaos that goes on as we are deep within our yoga practice.
July 20th, 2008