the llama blog
practicing yoga off the mat.
My morning yoga practice rarely includes music, could involve a yoga video or just a scrap of paper with sequence notes and almost always incorporates my children running on or around me. This scenario is much different than the class I teach. I compile numerous soothing methods to help my students relax including candlelight, music, aromatherapy, heat and massage. It is all to aid my students to drop into their Zen space easier.
However, a yoga class is similar to meditating in a cave in the Himalayans. It’s a perfect setting, but it’s not our everyday life. What if the class was too hot or too cold, too noisy, too whatever, could we still remain focus and practice?
We are surrounded daily by noises and distractions all around us. Yoga is a tool that teaches us how to use our breath to gain more control over our senses. Just as you might push yourself in a pose, now is a good time to expand your comfort zone.
Instead of piling on clothes during Savasana (corpse pose) to be warmer, allow your body to just be in the environment that is presented. In the memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, writer Elizabeth Gilbert attempts to sit in meditation while in India only to be distracted by her physical surroundings like insects. She learns with time to expand her normal comfort zone, one that shares a space with bugs, and is able to focus during her meditation.
Yoga classes are called practices for life off the mat. Take this theme of expanding your comfort zone into your personal and work life. Instead of shutting your office door to quiet your noisy co-worker, practice breathing and increase your awareness. Allow a little discomfort so you can grow.
Yoga and meditation teacher, Cyndi Lee said, “As we learn to trust the practice, we learn to more fully trust ourselves.” Unroll your mat wherever it fits and see what you learn from a not-so-perfect practice.