Thursday, October 16, 2014

Finding Joy...Everywhere

Find joy in the everyday moments.

Because, well, that's where we spend a lot of our time.


This is my friend Jamie. She teaches at the same yoga studio where I do, and lately we've been trading classes. Recently she's been sharing photos of her practice in the everyday moments ... no mat required :)

I feel really grateful for that reminder -- that yoga is sacred all the time, whether we're at a fancy, quiet studio or in the middle of the grocery store.

We always have the opportunity to be present. There is no fancy training required.

I think often in our yoga communities we get caught up in the rituals, and our need to control everything and have it be perfect all the time.

I need to set up my mat in the same corner of the room whenever I take class, because that's where I'm most comfortable... I don't like when the yogis next to me are breathing heavily or struggling; they're stealing away my precious 'me' time... 

I hope that the teacher will cue the poses I've 'mastered,' so I can show them off... maybe if I had some cute yoga pants like those, I'd have the confidence to do better in class...

The beauty of it is that this is the yoga. When we are face-to-face with struggle, or lack of control, and we sit back and say, I surrender! I let it go. And we allow ourselves to be with whatever IS, in that moment.

Not engaging the Monkey Mind chatter-- instead, witnessing it, and letting it pass like an ocean wave being called back out to sea.

We don't get attached, and we ask to be humbled.

That's when we are really practicing yoga.

Jamie is a wonderful, vibrant example of this practice. Of the power in simply being present.

She shows up authentically, no matter what she is doing... whether she's teaching, practicing on her own mat, singing Bob Marley songs at the end of class... hanging out with her kiddos, getting tattooed, laughing with friends...

I'm grateful that she is willing to be silly, and non-traditional, and that she challenges her students to go to a place they didn't think was possible. (I'm one of her students, and I've definitely experienced that in her classes!)

It's through this kind of surrendering -- of letting go of all the ego-based ways we come to yoga -- that really allows us to engage with the divine.

And what's most beautiful is that these opportunities are around us all the time... every day. Whether we're in line at the grocery store or sitting on the couch at home, or standing on our mat at the studio. It's all yoga. It's just a matter of tuning in.

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