Emme’s gems #37
Yoga Off the Mat
Weekend thoughts. No matter how many wrong turns we take in our lives, how many times we start and stop. No matter how unsettling some things seem to appear or how many times we feel “I can’t do this, it’s simply too much.”
And all we have to do is to try again. Have the courage not to give up and set one foot in front of the other. One more time…one more time.
When I feel overwhelmed, I reach for the tools in my “Yogatoolbox.” I grab the one I have learned will help me cut through the clutter. Just like a tool artisan who patiently and artistically has sharpened his knives, my Yoga practice has helped me hone methods and techniques I can use in my daily life. I call this ‘yoga off the mat,’ and it has very little to do with yoga exercises.
Here is a little visualization practice, I have practiced for long stretches in my life to teach myself how to focus. You can practice this anywhere, standing or sitting. Begin with awareness and notice if you can picture yourself mentally in a calm state where you can summon your full attention and focus.
Take a few conscious breaths and start to visualize letting go of life’s situations which are demanding your constant attention. See them getting more and more into the background until they are blurry and not recognizable. Then bring them back into focus. And then again let them get into the background and bring them back to focus.
Now when you try this out ask yourself: Do I know how to get into a calm mental and emotional state? Do I know how to consciously breathe without strain and with clarity of what the breath is doing? Do I feel my body? Can I even focus my mind for more than 3 seconds before getting confused, distracted, or even agitated?
If some of these answers are NO, then it just means you have not been taught or taught well. And that is another clue which will help guide you in the right direction, right?
So take away for this weekend: We can learn to turn a blank page and start again. BUT THIS TIME, go find someone who can TEACH you first how to practice/train/choose/elevate your life with knowledge, depth, and wisdom, so you are not merely “copying the best way you know how” but studying, learning and growing.