With yoga classes to teach and grad school applications to complete, these days I’m finding it hard to fit in my own daily yoga practice. I can still get 30 to 60 minutes of self-directed practice here and there, and I do usually make my favorite classes — but I would love to be doing more. I decided to pursue yoga as a career because of my passion for it. I find it pretty ironic that in order to secure yoga as a career, I’m finding more and more that I have to force myself to do less of it!
A few days ago I was complaining about this to my boyfriend and all of the sudden my mind stepped back, and I watched myself complaining. I don’t remember ever choosing to do that. But it immediately reminded me that everything I do is a yoga practice. Asana and doing the dishes are more similar than we think. It seems cliché for so many reasons to say that life is yoga and yoga is life, but it is an incredibly important concept for those who accept it into their lives. The purpose of the mindful and focused attention we have holding sirsansana (headstand) is to promote an approach to experiencing the world around us that is most likely to maintain a healthy mind, body and temperament over the course of one’s life.
Translating the approach to experience that yoga cultivates into one’s daily life can help address problems ranging from breaking too many wine glasses when doing the dishes to understanding better how you want to spend your time on earth and what it means to you. But I’m not sure any of us are really qualified on that topic, so let’s just start with something small. Next time you do the dishes, laundry, exercise or clean – watch yourself doing it, pay attention to little details and don’t let your mind wander. Focus every little voice in your head on the core task at hand – let that task be an orphaned island in the abyss of your mind. Float effortlessly in that abyss without knowing that you’re floating.