The reality of Practice

I remember what my daily yoga practice used to look like.  A quiet house, a dedicated yoga space neatly arranged with props, books and my mat, a pre-scheduled time of day dedicated to asana and meditation.  It was all about me, and I took myself pretty seriously.

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That was then, and this is now.  My house is never quiet.  My yoga mat is usually surrounded by a Thomas the Tank Engine train set, and as I yank my mat out of it’s bag, pieces of lego and small cars usually fly out across the room.  I squeeze whatever practice I can into a very full day, and more often or not, my children use my postures as an opportunity to use me as a climbing frame. 

It’s still practice.  Whether it is two gloriously uninterrupted hours in the presence of your teacher at your favourite class, or a quick meditation on the subway, it still counts.  I savour the opportunity I have a couple of times a week to practice quietly at the studio, but the rest of the time, it is a free for all family affair.  I just found these photos from a year ago as I tried to get back to the mat with a young baby and a rumbunctious and curious toddler.  Honestly, this was one of the very best practices I have had!  I didn’t deepen my Natarajasan, or perfect my Ujaiyi breathing, but I was totally present, and moved in harmony with my ever changing unpredictable surroundings.   It’s not what many of you may have in mind when you hear the words ‘yoga practice’,  but this is my reality – and I love it.

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Enjoy your moments of ‘me’ time at the studio, but bring your practice home.  Involve your kids, your partner, your dog.  Find a way to make your unique situation support you, and share the gifts with those you love.   Yoga teaches us to move in harmony with our external circumstances and accept them for what they are.  There really are very few excuses why you can’t get on your mat at home (as evidenced by the photos below!) Don’t fight it, or wish it were different.  Just embrace each moment as it comes.  Have fun!