At the end of the summer, after a very loosey-goosey few months, I recommitted to doing a daily practice. My practice usually includes a Yoga class in the studio with other students, led by a teacher. I find that I am the most focused, most motivated, most energized in the class enviroment. I get a lot from the community energy. Sometimes I simply cannot fit in a class between my own work schedule and my child care and social obligations and so I have expanded my notion of what "daily practice" is.
Committing to a "daily practice" that is more loosely defined has been incredibly liberating. Sometimes my practice involves 40 minutes on my mat between classes at The SweatBox. Other days it's a 3 mile run with my 11-year-old at her pace. Some really busy days, it is a seated meditation in my living room at 5:30am before the rest of the house is awake.
I'm nearly 47 years old and I know that I am a better human being when I feel nourished, rested, and cared for. The mind-body connection that Yoga, meditation, and other physical exercise brings me is a life saver. Yoga, for me, is a symbol representing the notion that "I am here. I am awake. I am alive." It is a momentary pause in life to remind me to slow down, even full stop and notice the connection that exists with my body and my mind.
Last month, I did the 30-Day Challenge at The SweatBox. I practiced with others in the hot studio, deriving energy and strength from the bodies around me. On days when I couldn't fit in a scheduled class, I practiced on my own. This week, it is Yoga on my deck in Bora Bora. We are here to celebrate a milestone birthday for Nancy. It is the most beautiful place in the world (that I've visited). It is paradise. Yesterday we cracked open a coconut from the beach and drank the water. Then we shredded the coconut meat into a plate made out of palm leaves and ate it. It's the kind of place where people drink Pina Coladas at 11am and nap all afternoon. It's remarkably indulgent and luxurious.
During our time here, I have gratefully pulled out my yoga mat every day and done my practice. I simply do the postures that my body calls me to do and I'm done when my body says I'm done. The classroom structure is not there, but my practice is. It might last fifteen minutes, it might last 30. It might be a series of spine twisting postures; it might just be practicing head stands on the beach until I cannot endure any more sand in my suit. It's not what I am doing; it is that I am doing. A simple pause, even here in paradise, is a reminder that I am here. Conscious. Alive.