It has been a while since i have written here or blogged, which is not to say i have not been practicing. If you remember back when i agreed to the #365 day yoga challenge i mentioned the greatest challenge for me will not necessarily be the actual daily practice but the sharing of the practice.
As the owner and primary facilitator at, Empowered Yoga I explain, demonstrate and dissect yoga A LOT, particularly this week when i found myself in Grande Prairie, Alberta to lead the first part of a 200Hr Yoga Teacher Training. This was a big week for me as i was leaving my little guy, Leo for the very first time EVER. For the last year i have not been away from him for more than a couple hours. While this brought me some anxiety as i boarded the plane to leave i exhaled, i became aware of a mantra i had been reciting all along: He will be fine, this is a good thing, let go. I began to feel not only okay with leaving, but started to see how this was actually a good thing. On the air craft i sat next to an old Friend from Junior High School-Random, and yet again as we chatted i was instantly brought back to a time in my life where i was completely different. The rhetorical question we always ask like “whats new” was not so bennal after all; Everything is new, I am completely different but i am also the same. Everything is always changing, I was now a mom, a yoga teacher, a wife, an adult… blah blah blah and yet he still knew me as, Michele. While the external ideas, labels and definitions in which we define and label our experiences change, we stay the same.
Besides the 40 Hrs of teaching over 40 days the remainder of my trip was spent in isolation. I ate by myself, showered alone, I was practicing yoga. I unrolled a Towel in the evenings and did a physical practice on the hotel room floor. I took walks alone, just wondering, listening and absorbing. I spent many hours turing inwards, in the shower, eating, and on my mat. This seems challenging if not impossible at home with 3 kids, a husband, a house to clean and a business to run and yet i struggle along. We have this idea that a yoga practice has to be at least 90 min uninterrupted etc and meditation needs to be at least 10 min of uninterrupted concentration or it is not effective. However more often than not my practice is interrupted, “why do i bother i mutter under my breath” “cant i even get 10 min to myself” i grunt “what is the point”
There is no point, especially if you think that the purpose of yoga is withdrawal, as it is often interpreted. If yogas goal is isolation ad renunciation, than it is definitely not for me , the mom who spends her whole day absorbed in the day to day activities of keeping a house and raising kids.
What i noticed is that despite my “practice” not seeming like it was this great spiritual, peaceful and enlightening time on my mat, it was making a difference. In these 4 days alone i was more focused, more sensitive, happier, more peaceful and definitely more compassionate. My efforts how ever small that they may have seemed each day, were having profound effects on me.
Last night during my meditation, instead of “withdrawing” from my senses, which is how Pratyahara is often described, i became absorbed in the sound of rain on my window, the smell of fresh baked zucchini pumpkin bread and roasted vegetable soup, the feeling of my deep breath. Our senses are to be withdrawn from, rather we can observe them, follow them and detach from them, so instead of unconsciously getting up and eating all of the yummy stuff i was smelling or being distracted by the rain. I found myself inside a Hemmiway novel where all of my senses were delighted and enthralled to a point of ecstasy, like a timeless classic.
OHHHHHM. Life is amazing and life is for the living.