Sunday, August 24, 2008
yoga on sundays :: karma yoga
I started this blog to make sure traveling friends and overseas family could watch Ché grow. And then I found that while I was out walking or wandering around Woolworths I was thinking of photos and words to share on here. Writing this blog helped to lift me out of the post-birth fog and encouraged me to string words together again - into sentences (yes, my brain was a little hazy). And now, thankfully, I am writing professionally again.
I'm also teaching a few yoga classes a week at the studio and if anything it is the pleasure of sharing yoga with others that inspires me the most. I know that many of you who read this are stay-at-home-mums and I understand that your chances of attending a regular yoga class are pretty low. I know this because the last yoga class I attended as a student was a long time ago, not sure how long but I'll say 'a fair while'.
So it is here in this lovely space that each Sunday evening I will share a bit of my yoga knowledge with you. So you can read it on a Monday and take it with you for the rest of the week. Many yogis believe that if one person in the family practices yoga, the whole family is practicing yoga.
I must also tell you that yoga is not just a series of touch-your-toes-and-impersonate-a-pretzel postures. Yoga is an holistic way of life, a way of 'thinking, living, being' you could say. Although there might be a few times where I describe the benefits of a posture I am going to try to share the bits of information that I have found most helpful...the information I have learned from yogis and yoginis who have dedicated their lives to yoga.
And so I'll begin here...
Karma yoga is a branch of yoga commonly referred to as 'yoga in action'. It is yoga that promotes mindfulness, action performed with a meditative awareness. It is practiced for a set amount of time each day and no matter what you're doing you try to stay in the present moment without being attached to the outcome - you work faster and more effectively when you are focussed on the present moment. When I stay at the ashram (where I am studying), karma yoga is an essential part of everyday. The ashram could not function without it - just as my or your household couldn't function without cooking, cleaning, washing etc. And so, with the concept of karma yoga in mind I attribute it to my role as stay-at-home-mum.
How? I spend a set amount of time each day doing housework. I try to just do it, not to think about the outcome and not to become attached to the idea of a spotless home - because I accept the fact that child = spots (lots). Once I have spent the 90minutes or so cleaning and tidying I am left with a whole day - to spend time with Ché, bake, take photos and write. And I get to do all those things without feeling guilty about 'the housework'. I know that this mum gets to be so wonderfully creative because she doesn't consider a spotless home important. I know that I'm a better mum because I have decided what is most important to our lives and it's definitely not sparkling skirting boards (apparently they exist).
I encourage you to think about the concept of karma yoga sometime this week. Even 'thinking' about it is considered a form of yoga practice. I will keep these posts separate so just look for the "yoga on sundays" pic in the sidebar (special thanks to leni and rose for technical support).
And if you are feeling generous...on October 22nd at sunrise I will be practicing 108 sun salutations as part of the Yoga Aid Challenge. My chosen charity is the Save the Children fund. If you would like to donate please go here and click "donate" next to 'Jodi Wilson'.
Enjoy your karma yoga...