Sometimes the thought of yoga is just too overwhelming.
Once you get past the tip of the yogic iceberg in your asana practice, you start to realize this whole situation is a way of life.
Of course, doing a handstand is a huge party pleaser, but now that I have discovered the greater depths and inner working of the ancient art I ask myself, Do I really have time for this?
I have three kids, a husband, a job and a lot of shit I haven’t dealt with, so how do I juggle my life and still find time to create inner peace?
Here’s a breakdown of excuses as to why I don’t have time for the eight limbs of yoga:
1. Yama (roots)
This is the idea of non-violence and self control. Have you ever dealt with a narcotic, highly irrational small child before? At times, I am convinced that the military has toddlers running Guantanamo Bay, simply based on their impressive ability to repeat the same thing so many times, it could make even the toughest negotiators crumble. Don’t get me wrong, I devotedly love my kids, but there have been times when I have envisioned punting them across the yard after the 100th, “Are we there yet?” question.
2. Niyama (purity, self reflection)
I’ll just say it now: I curse like I’m a back up singer in a rap video. I can string together a line of expletives that would embarrass 50 Cent. I also really like doughnuts and wine… sometimes together. Ahh! It felt good to get that out in open.
3. Asana (yoga postures)
As a mother of three children, there is no way in hell I can pop into a guided yoga class whenever my pretty, little stressed out heart desires. As much as I wouldn’t mind leaving them in the car for a quick power yoga session, I’m pretty sure that isn’t legal, so until those $20 suggested donation classes has some free child care, my kids college fund is staying in the cookie jar. Money doesn’t grow on the tree of yoga, you know! And don’t even get me started on a home practice. Let’s just say, me on the floor never ends in a relaxing savasana. It’s more likely to end up with a pony ride or a small human kneeing me in the kidney.
4. Pranayama (breath)
I’m a mouth breather; I have horrible allergies and the nose is so narrow it literally whistle every time I breath through it. I can barely get through my own practice without a Breathe Right strip.
5. Pratyahara (withdrawing from the five senses to discover your soul)
I once had a student tell me she couldn’t do the breathing technique know as, breathe of fire, because she wasn’t ready to deal with the things that might come up. Sometimes, you’re just not ready to deal with the shit that might come up.
6. Dharana (concentration)
My attention is pulled in five different directions the majority of the day, everyday. When I do get a free moment, my brain is usually too fired to fill it with more knowledge. There have been times I have stopped in mid-sentence and completely forgotten what I was talking about.
7. Dhyana (Meditation)
I haven’t had a full nights sleep in six years and you want me to sit with my eyes closed for how long? Yeah! Good luck keeping me awake.
8. Samadhi (Awakening)
I’d need a good nights sleep before I could awaken. No pun intended.
So there you have it, all of the excuses I could come up with as to why I don’t have time for yoga.
But the reality is that yoga is not something I can master overnight or at any particular stage in my life; it is an ongoing journey that may not even be completed in this lifetime.
If I wasn’t living the path of yoga every day, I would be completely lost in the thick of all the chaos. Having this methodology to focus on helps me be a overall a better human being. When I do feel out of control or lost and scared, there is a place I can refer to and find some peace.
I’m not perfect—sometimes I say mean things and don’t always make the best choices, but yoga guides to back to where I need to be. Raising kids won’t last forever, so when they are grown and making their own impressions on the world, I will be thankful I took the time to get to know myself.
Maybe it would be easier to move to an Ashram and spend all day and night devoted to yoga, but for the rest of us who live in the real world, it gives me peace of mind to know I now have the tools to deal with all little ups and downs.
I like to envision my life like a giant piece of stone that I chip away each day so that eventually I too can create my own Statue of David masterpiece.
Alli Akard is an ever evolving, never settling, always-questioning woman of the world, but it is the simple things that keep her attention. Not one for living on barrowed time, she strives to create a little magic in each day. She’s also been known to have competitive snail races on Tuesday afternoons with her kids.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise