Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Changing Plans

Photos via Pinterest.

How often do things go exactly as you’ve planned them?

Lately I’ve been thinking about the power of being flexible. Of living life in the moment, and being open to possibility, rather than having rigid expectations about how things will play out. How often are you able to surrender to the moment rather than freaking out when something unexpected comes along?

Whether it’s in the day-to-day experience of life or my goals for my future, it is when I am able to be fluid, gentle, and open that I truly experience the power of yoga off the mat.

Softening, opening, allowing… that is the yoga.

Today sponsored yogi Deborah Jane shares her experience with going with the flow, and how powerful it can be…

Photo courtesy of Deborah Jane.

This morning I planned to drop off my son and head right to the yoga studio for class with one of my favorite teachers. That was my plan—no indication that life would throw me a curve. When I went to get back in the car, my son didn’t want me to leave him. My six-year-old, who has zero attachment issues and never minds when I leave him with his friends, wanted me to stay.

“OK,” I reluctantly told him, growing more panicked as the minutes ticked by and I started to realize that I would be late for class. I don’t like being late. My anxiety grew to a full fledged panic, complete with dragging my little one into the ladies room with me so i could sit against the wall and breathe. Ha! Panic attacks because I am late to yoga? Isn’t it ironic? “Yoga’s become my drug and I need a fix,” I thought.

Several minutes later, while looking into my baby’s blue eyes, I had clarity. STAY with him. And i did. And he was happy and I was happy to be with him.

Isn’t that the real yoga? Being present to the moment, and just rolling with it?

I did end up making it to class. I stumbled in 15 minutes late, just as my teacher was asking the class, “What do we do when life doesn’t go according to our plan?”

Of course. That is the real yoga.

When my son was a baby and I was a frazzled, single mom, I remember coming to the studio and running into one of the teachers from my teacher training. He looked at me toting my boy and could see I was clearly sleep-deprived and feeling stressed. “That’s the real yoga,” he told me as he looked at us. I never forgot those words, and they still ring true.

When I slack at asana practice because life makes me too busy or tired, I come back to this: we practice on the mat so that we can show up with grace, dignity, and presence for our lives.

Om Namah Shivaya.

Thanks, Deborah, for sharing your beautiful perspective. Your words resonate in my heart and I am grateful for your honesty, strength and willingness to truly live your yoga. Namaste!


  1. This is such a great reminder. Thank you!

  2. There is so much wisdom and inspiration in this post!

    Yesterday our furnace went out and I was stressed about getting it fixed, and ultimately, the need to get it replaced, and it was my breath and my ability to stay in the moment (we had a portable heater to keep us warm and we could snuggle under the blankets!), that got me through an otherwise rough (and cold!) night.

    Thanks for sharing your "real life yoga" experience, Deborah Jane, and for encouraging me to find mine own!

  3. So true. Life is not for Yoga --- Yoga is for life. You are building a savings account of grace and presence; you never know when you'll need to draw from it. The real practice is life.