the llama blog
practicing yoga off the mat.
After an exhilarating hour of asana practice, I settle on my mat for a well-deserved savasana. I place my sweatshirt over my torso to mimic a blanket and begin taking deep breaths. Within a minute, I fall into a deep meditation. When the teacher’s voice resumes and asks us to return to the present moment, I feel revived, refreshed and refocused.
When life is going great like this asana practice, it’s easy to tap into our inner peace. We breathe deeper and choose to pause rather than immediately react. But life is not a vacation every day. Our everyday life is not as perfect as the last yoga class.
It’s in these moments that our perfect practice is put to the test. Can we stretch and grow our patience while speaking with a difficult friend or family member? Are we able to breathe and create space while sitting on I-70 in morning traffic? And can we stay focused on the task at hand even if it’s difficult? Getting out of our comfort zone and applying our breathing and mediation training in real situations turns our practice into a lifestyle.
We cannot grow and fully embody the benefits of a full yoga practice (asana, breathing and meditation) if we only practice in perfect environments like class. We can see challenges in our everyday lives as opportunities to practice what we know. Sometimes we’ll succeed, and sometimes we’ll fail. But every time we’ll learn something new about ourselves.