Monday, February 28, 2011

bathroom yogini or my not so glamorous life

I've shown photos of my sweet little home yoga room numerous times. With old hardwood floors, slanting ceiling, two windows and a large tree that I can almost touch with my toes, all the yoga props I need (including blankets, blocks, strap, and eye pillow), and walls painted the same color light green from my first studio.

I have objects that I love close at hand and inspiring books and poetry. I burn copal and sandalwood incense in here. I do yoga in here. I meditate in here. I write in my journal in here. I come here to sit, to be when I'm feeling happy or sad.

In the warmer months that is.....

In the wintertime it's just too cold upstairs in the Big Blue House. While I could warm it up with space heaters, it seems like a waste of time and energy. Although on the weekend or a more mild day I've been known to heat the space and spend a few hours in it.

All the other time my yoga practice takes place in the most unexpected of places. My bathroom. Yep, it's true.

And the closest thing this space has in common with my yoga room is the walls are a similar color. No windows with a big magic tree. No hardwood floor. No special special items (unless you count the toilet and I don't). The only prop I have handy is my yoga mat. I actually fold a towel to sit at the edge of for meditation.

So not glamorous right? I couple weeks ago at the workshop for February I share this bathroom information. One particular yogini at the workshop wanted to focus on her intention of starting a home yoga and meditation practice.

I patiently listened to her as she explained why she wanted this for herself. It was clearly something important. But when I asked her when she would begin this home practice she couldn't (or wouldn't) give me a clear answer. She had to think about and find the best spot for her yoga practice.

I seen and heard of this many times (I too am guilty). I want to do (insert goal or action of your choice) BUT ______________ (insert reason you have to put it off).

How many of us have....
Put off buying the dress till we lose 10 lbs?
Or taking the trip when the perfect time comes?
Waited to buy a house till we found our perfect partner?
Waiting to quit the job when we take more trainings?
Waiting to start a home yoga practice till we create the perfect spot?

With some things (not all) there is no better time to begin then the present. Perfect case is beginning a home yoga practice.

You don't have to know how to sequence beautifully. Your body knows the way.
You don't have to have a teacher telling you how to relax. Your mind knows the way.
Your heart always knows the way.

You don't need all the fancy clothes, or props. You don't need the candles, music, and incense.

You just need the desire to practice. And the commitment to do so. You just need to give yourself permission to do something nice for yourself. When all else fails, pause, breathe , soften, and surrender.

A few days after the workshop I emailed the group to check in with them. I was so delighted when I got an email back from the above yogini I speak about. What she shared with me was so very moving for me.

You see as teachers we often times want to appear perfect. We don't want you to see our scars, our struggles, and the dark spaces in our lives. We don't want you to see our anger or our hurt. We don't want you to see that we don't have the answer. We don't want you to see our bathroom where we practice yoga. ;)

Again and again I find tremendous power in sharing the imperfections of life. This is the very place where healing, learning, and growing takes places. On both teacher and student end. On the mat and off the yoga mat.

This awesome yoga student agreed to let me share a portion of her email (she was also the one who suggested I blog about this topic). I hope that you too can see that there is no reason to put off that which you can begin now. You might be surprised at what you discover.

"I have to share... while I walked away with many new great tools to add to my yoga toy chest, the tidbit that had the biggest impact on me, was the realization that my yoga teacher practices in her bathroom. I know, we all giggled and joked when you shared this, but it really shifted something in me. Needless to say, I started a home practice Sunday night, and have delightfully practiced every night since.

Surprisingly, I found the perfect spot, too, at the foot of my bed. It's private, it's clean, it's quiet, and it's even spacious! I can even use my bed to prop my legs up for modified savasana.

In 3 sessions, I've already moved into a pose I've never been able to "achieve" in class, I've surprised myself with being able to move without the help of a guided sequence, and after each session, I can't help but run out of the room giggling because of how much fun I had and how good I feel!"

Pretty spectacular, right? Thoughts? I'd love to hear them. :)

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