Sunday, December 15, 2013

twenty-two | practicing simplicity

Every Wednesday night I go to a yoga class - it's my mid-week reprieve, an opportunity to find space, rediscover patience and gain perspective. To begin my practice I lay with my legs up the wall in viparita karani, my arms wide, my eyes closed. And I let myself soften into the floor. My entire sadhana (spiritual practice) last week was about softening without effort. My teacher's words resonated so strongly:

"...if you had to stay where you were for 10 more breaths, what would you shift so you could be comfortable? What would you change if you had to stay here for 100 more breaths, or a lifetime of breaths?"

She was talking about being in an asana but she subtly hinted at the practice of life, too. What a beautiful question to pose to mothers; the women who live that role for now and forever - for the next 10 breaths and the next million.

What can you shift so you can be more comfortable, so the experience can be more enjoyable? 

Those words have been circling my mind since last Wednesday, coming to the forefront just when things start to get challenging. And I've shifted many things to make space and create opportunities, to quell tantrums and see things for what they are (and not what my emotions make them out to be). My experience as a work-from-home mother has benefited greatly as I've found a new way of integrating work and writing into family life - a very small change that has made a significant impact on my productivity, creativity and happiness. 

So: shift and change things around so you can be more comfortable. 

Take time this week to lie with your legs up the wall, if only for five minutes. Close your eyes, let out a few sighs and be still. It's one of the most rejuvenating practices you can do. This week we all need it more than ever. I hope you find a few minutes of calm amidst the crazy. 

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