I have heard that Pattabhi Jois and Sharath say taking care of a family is a yoga practice in itself. In the midst of the “Family yoga” I am trying to continue with my Asana and Pranayama practices. My back is weaker for having barely got on the mat in the last three weeks. The joints and muscles are sore and less flexible. The practice keeps me centered day in and day out as family activities and routines race by. It reminds me to go back to the breath when things get out of control.
A month ago Maher insisted that we go to Hangzhou for the weekend workshop with Paul, my teacher. He found out about the workshop and arranged the trip. We took our ayi with us. That was a first. Her first plane ride as well. Exciting! I did yoga all weekend while Maher and ayi took care of R and L. Another first. What a privilege to have someone arrange it all – flights, hotel, child care. I can’t thank him enough for letting me have the space and time to do my thing.
It was my first workshop in two years. It took me home How wonderful to practice in a studio with others and especially with Paul. The main realization though was that my rather regular, lite practice has become mechanical.
So how does one become more mindful? Simple advice – do less and slow down – both for Asana and Pranayama.
Now that we are back in Chengdu and almost back on schedule, it’s my chance to tone the practices down and be more present. The centering that can come out of one yoga practice floods over into others, and they even feed off each other. Now it’s time to get on the mat, breathe, and react appropriately when the children are pulling each other’s hair out!