Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Creating & cultivating your home practice - start the New Year!

My New Year's resolution for 2013 is to roll out my yoga mat every day.

I resolve to .......AT LEAST..... roll out my mat....... and sit down on it every day. And I have done it so far - which is big for me! 9 days down.....

This is big for me, because I am all about procrastination, I'm a master at it! For me, master procrastinator, it is so easy to find an excuse not to do my yoga today. My life is: "Why I Don't Have Enough Time", starring Carrie Mann. Anything is an excuse: my daughter needs something, and I'm off! Oh, no time today, I'm just a busy Mom.

But now in the second week of 2013, because I have made this commitment to roll out my mat, I just fit it in. It has become another one of the things I have to do like brushing my teeth, or feeding the kids. I begin to establish a habit. -(see December 10, ...First Steps).

And once I sit on my mat, I want to do some yoga. I resolved to roll out my mat and at least sit down on it. But so far the least I've done is much more than that: child's pose, down dog, plank, child's pose again, forward bend, cobbler's pose and a twist, is the shortest practice I've done, and that's when we were in a hurry to get out of the house! It only took about 10 minutes.

Having a place cleared, reserved, and the commitment to roll out the mat does more than just giving me an initial stretch in the morning. It's a ritual. And that ritual (as rituals tend to do) brings my mind to yoga, if only for a few minutes. Before I was a master at finding a good reason to bring myself away from my yoga practice. But now it is part of my day. I don't want to skip a day because I'm committed, (and now I've declared that commitment here).

This ritual is my practice. I slow down to do roll out the mat, and then I remember to take a breath, and then a few poses and before I know it, I've done my practice for the day. I may do more yoga later, or teach a class that day, but these moments each morning are for me, and I feel a small sense of pride, strength and accomplishment because today, for yet another day, I have honored my commitment to yoga, which is a commitment to myself and to my own well being. And that in turn helps me, so I can give more to others.

It's not only about moving so that my body feels good the rest of the day. That's a benefit of the practice. But the practice itself is about honoring a commitment. And it's about honoring a ritual that brings my body more in line with my mind, and my mind more in synch with my inner nature, and with all of nature itself.

I'll keep you posted on the next 356 days......