Stories From Paradise

Live your yoga


Today, when I came back to my car after grocery shopping, I was preoccupied.  I felt lonely and sad and was trying to figure out why.  When I put the key to open the back door distractedly, I noticed someone had written on the dusty window, “I love yoga”.

I smiled, thought about it and loaded the groceries in the car.  When I shut the door, I took my right index finger to the lettering, put a line through the “o” in love and wrote an “i” above it.  I stood back and smiled:  “I live yoga”.

That is it. Isn’t it?  Live your yoga.  Bring it off the mat as much as you bring yourself onto the mat.  Notice.  Practice loving kindness to yourself and others.  Breathe.

So the next time you are in traffic (we even have it here in Tulum, Mexico now) breathe.  Don’t swear, just breathe and wait.  And if you cannot help but swear, laugh about it afterwards.  Stay off the horn.  Stay on your breath.

If someone asks you for help: directions, a peso, a moment of your time, a little bit of space.  Stop. Try not to get angry, and answer honestly with loving kindness.  The answer can be no.  Just say it with love.

Practice not letting the ‘shit’ get you down.  The same way you move through your practice, move through your life.  Remember that every experience is a part of the fabric of your life and will lead to something wonderful eventually.  Believe it fully.  If you need some help, ask for it.  If you are having trouble balancing, you put one foot down perhaps.  Or you move to a wall, right?  Find that one foot in your life.  Or find your wall.  And it doesn’t always have to be the same one.  We live in a world with so many walls.  Perhaps we can make them less rigid, less solid, if we just go over and touch one when we need some help.  There may be someone’s hand on the other side.  Imagine sending that balancing energy through to the other side. Perhaps you both will find balance.

Practice patience with yourself and others.  The same way you breathe into a tight muscle, patiently waiting for it to open, breathe into a tight part of your emotions on any given day.  Breathe into your relationships and bring patience to their progress and their uniqueness.

Practice courage.  The courage to be honest and respectful of ourselves and others.  The same courage it takes to jump to the front of your mat or to lift that arm off the floor that so far has supported you, may be the courage you need to ask for that raise or that change you need in your life situation.   And it may be the courage you need to accept the answer or the outcome.  Practice the courage it takes to stop and listen to that musician on the subway when everyone is running by.  Practice the courage it takes to listen to a friend when you know you will miss the last train, you won’t get your 8 hours of sleep, or you may even miss that next yoga class.  Breathe and practice the courage it takes to listen to yourself, openly and with patience.  Spend time alone.  Meditate.

Practice the courage that it takes to be uniquely you when doing so may disrupt an otherwise organized life.

Live your yoga.