Yesterday, I did one of the least favorite parts of my job. I practiced with my own yoga video from my new online program. The way I did it (and actually got to enjoy it) was this: I pretended I was listening to someone else. Complete detachment. Vairagya.
How are you living your yoga today? How does your practice play out in the REST of your life?
It’s worth revisiting that living one’s yoga is not a new idea. Even when it was a renunciants’ path, yoga was wholistic – it addressed and involved all parts of oneself. And, yoga has always been an integrated practice, designed to be lived.
WHOLISTIC: relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the dissection into parts
INTEGRATED: to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole. To unite, absorb, assimilate, embody, incorporate
Body, Breath, Mind, Spirit
Jnana, Karma, Bhakti
Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga
Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishwara Pranidhana
Every framework of yoga practice was designed to address ALL parts of ourselves and lead us on a conscious trajectory that empowers us to become more fully who we actually already are. Even paths that don’t see the mind or thoughts as real, even paths that see the body as an obstacle rather than a temple, all give ways to engage with these parts of our selves, even if that engagement is about overcoming or controlling.
And, let’s be clear, postural practice is NOT a stand-alone practice. If we are to call it yoga, it means it’s done in the context of a larger understanding of who we are, why we’re doing it and where it is taking us.
For us, this means the other 23 hours of the day, and never fooling ourselves that yoga is just what we do on our mats or cushions. It’s the way you approach your tasks, the way you communicate, the way you handle yourself, the way you put your energy out into the world.
So the crucial question is:
How is yoga infiltrating the rest of your life?
My guess is in a lot of ways you may not even be aware of.
As you go through your day, notice which parts of your practice are helping you in your life? Think: body, breath, posture, pause, presence, surrender, one-pointed focus, softening, seeking harmony, being real, listening, compassion, benevolence, contentment, integrity, honesty, love. The discovery of how our yoga is already serving us, how we are already walking the talk is the proof that our practice is working.