It Starts with a QuestionFeb 15, 2023
I recently had the great pleasure of sitting down with Buddhist teacher and Mindfulness Yoga pioneer Frank Jude Boccio for a rich conversation about the intersection of Buddhist and Yogic thought.
He shared with me an experience from early in his yoga practice that I think many of us can relate to. When he began taking yoga classes back in the mid-1970’s (which, coincidentally, were at The World Yoga Center, the very same studio where I got started in yoga about 20 years later!), he would leave the studio feeling fantastic.
The peace of mind he experienced at the end of class didn’t last, though, not even for the length of his subway ride home. Before he knew it, he felt he was back at square one. His desire to understand how to extend the positive after-effects of his yoga practice eventually sparked his interest in Yoga philosophy and Buddhism and ended up changing his life.
Yoga helps us feel happy and relaxed; it fosters tranquility and peace of mind. All seems right with the world and with us after a good practice. But what happens when we get stuck in traffic, making us late to our next appointment? Or we remember that we still need to have that tough conversation with a co-worker that we've been putting off? Inevitably, “life’ quickly gets in the way. That post-yoga high dissipates, and we can’t seem to get it back.
How, we wonder, can we sustain the benefits of our practices and bring them to bear on the rest of our lives?
Yoga offers so many brilliant and effective answers to this question. But, first, it requires that we ask. Once we do, the question itself becomes the catalyst for expanding the bandwidth of what yoga can be about for us. Possibilities and connections begin to unfold, and we start to see that what we do on our mats and cushions isn't separate from the rest of our lives. In many ways, it's actually practice for it.
Getting interested in bridging the gap between our formal practices and daily life is perhaps the most important yoga we can practice. In asking the question, we become open to living the answers.