When was the last time you felt completely engrossed in a project? How often do you think you can block everything around you and focus on one single thing? Maybe for you it’s peeling and chopping a clove of garlic, or planting bulbs on a chilly November day. The word Yoga means yoke or union of the body and the breath. It is sometimes described as meditation in motion. But Downward Dog and Warrior pose are not the only way to achieve this. Clear your mind by taking a long walk on a Spring morning, take notice of your neighbor’s daffodils or the beautiful pink magnolia at the end of your street. Refresh your breath with the sweet scent of the damp air and connect with the rhythms of nature.
Thich Nhat Hanh said, Peace is every step. I love this. Your Yoga does not have to be as lofty as writing a poem or painting a watercolor. Everyday chores such as folding the laundry or emptying the dishwasher can become a meditation if you can learn to breathe and focus, be in the moment, and do it well. Even your to-do list will become more satisfying. Of course a steady dose of Yoga can help you along the way. It is my go to practice for centering my life. In the morning Sun Salutation, Triangle Pose and Camel and every evening Hero, Child Pose and Half Moon. Each one urging me to strive for more balance and flexibility. The question is how do we incorporate the breathing and postures into everyday life? It takes time, but it does happen. We slow down, we pay attention and one day we realize that the mundane IS life!
So ask yourself, what brings me peace and contentment? When am I most engaged? How can I take the ordinary and make it extraordinary? I know for me there is nothing more grounding than coming in from the cold and searching the kitchen for fresh, healthy ingredients. Planning and preparing a nutritious meal for my family is always a form of Yoga. I set the table, take a breath, chop the carrots, sauté some onions, inhale the aromas, reach for the wooden spoon and serve it with love. This is the Yoga of my life.
photo by Chris Primavera