Detour Ahead

Ramdas1eSlight detour today.  I had planned to write about Patañjali’s tools but I received an email this morning that gives me reason to go a slightly different way today.  Let me share a couple of important points from that email and then I will gives some practical and easy ways to begin to incorporate a yogic practice into a jam packed schedule.

As you read these excerpts, see if any of them sound like what you are experiencing in your own life.  Here’s part of what E wrote to me this morning:

“Life is complicated and particularly not peaceful or clear these last few weeks. . . .  It’s too bad I don’t take a moment to wedge myself out of my schedule and obligations from time to time to discover who I am, what I am up to, and where I need to be – in that moment and in general – because I really need to!”

“Sounds like a case for inserting yoga practice daily in order to preserve sanity, gain peace, and extend life.”

“I want to embrace the Yoga 365 plan but would need some training in how to accomplish this in and around life.”

“I want to incorporate yoga into my life in a more real, constant and/or consistent way.  I realize that I know very little about it but I crave the benefits of gaining some education and practical application.  I know from what little yoga I have done that it is healing, balancing, nourishing, relaxing, and enlightening.  Why would I not run full speed toward something that offers so much?  My biggest hurdle is time and space in which to add something to my schedule (which is like saying I don’t have time to work smarter so I’ll just keep working harder, which is dumb) and that is followed by a smaller hurdle of feeling self-conscious or feeble (lack of experience mostly) where I can’t let go properly because I care how I look while practicing or what someone else thinks of my practice.”

In summary, E has identified the following obstacles:

  • Life is complicated
  • No time and no space
  • Lack of training/knowledge
  • What will I look like!?

E has also identified some motivating forces:

  • Discover who I am, what I am up to, and where I need to be
  • Preserve sanity, gain peace, and extend life
  • Desire, “I want to incorporate yoga into my life.”
  • I crave the benefits
    • Healing
    • Balancing
    • Nourishing
    • Relaxing
    • Enlightening


running-late-to-workTime and Space

Who has time for a 90 minute posture sequence every day?  Not to mention the space needed.  Most homes have plenty of room for a yoga mat, right in the middle of the family living space.  Sure, you can practice there but that means everyone else is inconvenienced by you and your mat or, if they want to join in, there isn’t enough room for all of you!  If space and time are cramping your yoga style, back off a little or even a lot.

Instead of carving out a large block of time and space, start with something small.  As that small practice takes root and begins to grow, you will naturally find yourself seeking ways to help it grow by giving it more time and space.  You won’t have to look too hard to find that time and space either, you’ll discover that it’s been there all along just waiting for you to see it clearly.

So, take 30 minutes for a few rounds of Sun Salutation (download a chart Gurudev or Ramdas) at the start of your day.  If 30 minutes is too long, then don’t worry about the time and just do 5 – 7 rounds of Sun Salutation coordinating each movenment with your own inhale and exhale.  Next, during your day take 3 five minute breaks to just close your eyes and focus on your breath.  You can also turn off the radio as you drive and focus on breathing while you drive (keep your eyes OPEN).  Write down what you experience.  Share what you’ve written with someone else, you can even email me if you like.


secretSecrets of Yoga

Here are three key secrets that will transform your posture practice and they can be applied to any activity, transforming anything into a yogic practice:

  • Slow down
  • Breathe
  • Feel

Sound too simple?  Try this and let me know what happens for you in the comments below.  Pick something that you do every day like brushing your teeth.  Before you start, close your eyes and take five or six slow, easy breaths.  Start to brush your teeth but do it very slowly.  Feel the bristles of the brush moving over your teeth and gums.  Feel it against your tongue.  Feel the muscles in your arm and hand moving as you brush.  Feel every sensation of brushing your teeth.  Allow yourself to become so absorbed by what you feel that everything else begins to fade into the background.  Hmmm, just writing this makes me want to brush my teeth!

You can apply these three simple techniques to anything and it will completely change what you are experiencing.  Try it now, really.  Don’t have a toothbrush handy?  Do the same thing while drinking a glass of water!  Just don’t use the slow down technique too much while driving or while answering the phone…too many missed calls and too many angry drivers.

Jai Bhagwan!