October 21, 2011

My top three considerations when practicing yoga on & off the mat.

1)      The Breath

On the mat:
Once we get the concept that yoga postures will be easier when we breathe smoothly – then we begin to find the meditative quality of the practice. This takes our practice to a level beyond the physical.

Off the mat: If your breath is erratic pay attention, consider why it is that way, and intentionally slow it down. If it’s too shallow bring your awareness to the breath and purposefully increase the quality. A steady breath = a steady mind. A steady mind = peacefulness.

2)      Gratitude

On the mat:
Be grateful that we can move our body – that we have the capacity to get ourselves on the mat and in the moments when a posture is challenging, be in the moment, be with the posture – ask yourself – what is this here to teach me?

Off the mat:
The passage of time – when things are going well, time seems to go by swiftly and when life is presenting us with challenges, time seems to go by painfully slow. Either way – we must remember – the event and emotions are impermanent…. it will change…. which is why it is important to embrace the present moment. Whether it is enjoyable or difficult is not really the point – the point is – the experience is presented to teach us something and within the lesson, there is always an opportunity to be grateful.

3)      Intention

On the mat:
There really is not any reason to spend our time (or money if we are going to a studio/class) practicing yoga without an intention. Everyone’s intention, on each day, will be different. When we step on our mat, we have the opportunity to ask ourselves – what is my intention for the next 60 minutes?

Off the mat:
Living with intention requires dedication to awareness. Paying attention to our choices, our actions, and how we react to others. Every day we make choices.  We choose one thought over another, we choose one behavior over another, and we choose to take one path over another.  When we investigate our lives, existing with awareness, and taking responsibility for our choices, we are choosing to live an authentic life.

Make an amazing day!



HalfMoon Pond photo by my good friend, Melanie Dostie.


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