Wisdom You Learn On the Yoga Mat Applied When Off It
Wisdom that you learn through the practice on yoga on the mat, is useful in application to mindful living off the mat.
Do you have regular routines that flow in your life? If so, it doesn’t mean that you’re boring. Just like a yoga practice has a beginning, (often with a chime,) a middle, (filled with alternating poses of movement and stillness,) that lead to an end, (with shivasana,) so too do your days. How much better to approach them with intention. Schedule periods of work, rest, play, stretching and exercise, and sleep.
How Do You Move Through Life?
Looking at how you move through life is important. Do you rush through it, forgetting to breathe and be aware of how you inhabit your personal space? Are you considerate of others around you? Are you stiff or flexible?
What is in or out of alignment with regard to your personal boundaries? Are you a bull in a China shop or are you aware of your pace, space, and aggressive movements? Do you talk over people? Are you a doormat to others because you have difficulty saying no?
Pranayama is controlled breathing, which is the source of prana, or life force. Breath work can help you discharge stress, calm your nerves, regulate your heart beat, and return from light headedness. It sounds ridiculous, but we all need to learn how to breathe.
Observe how you challenge yourself off the mat. Do you? Or do you keep your routine safe and rote so you don’t have to sit in the uncomfortable posture of expanding yourself?
Mindfulness of how thoughts can knock you off balance becomes useful off the mat. What else throws you off balance? Maybe it’s your emotions, your reaction to certain people or situations, or even the food or drink you consume.
If you were to realize the impermanence of life, how would that affect you? Have you been in denial and taking people or things for granted?
Do you have closure on each activity throughout the day? Before bed, do you let go of all that challenged you, physically, mentally, or emotionally? Is there a routine in place for allowing that to melt into the earth and away from you, transmuted into something lovely by your intention?
If not, you need a yoga mat to teach you.
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