September 12, 2012

The Modern Yogini Goes Retail Shopping. ~ Rana Waxman

Mindful Shopping

“Intuition is soul guidance, appearing naturally in man during those instants when his mind is calm… The goal of yoga science is to calm the mind, that without distortion it may hear the infallible counsel of the Inner Voice.”

~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“In order to rise above our conditioning, free ourselves from suffering, improve our relationships, or find a deeper meaning and purpose in life, we must ‘go within ourselves.'”

~ Gary Kraftsow

Well, it has been yet another week of dazzling reflections on balancing career, deadlines, duties, wisdom, people and grace and how my yoga practice sheds light on so many different areas, like a sunbeam.

My last blog was intense so I thought I would write about something light and fun. I have seen a few blogs lately that talk about fashion, giving tips on what to buy, what to wear, how to wear it. Hmm. Fun. Let’s put on the lip-gloss and head straight for all that

Of course, as luck would have it, I found a store that sells yoga jeans. Thinking I had entered nirvana already, I beamed at the salesgirl: yoga teacher here, sign me up! Let’s get our yoga butt outfitted!

I tried on three pairs and it felt like the TV show Let’s Make A Deal because I was sure the right pair was hiding somewhere and I just had to find it. Truth is, I wasn’t that comfortable. I just knew they didn’t maximize or minimize or whatever the rave was, it was not working on me.

Boot shopping was next and although my feet fell in love, my wallet looked at me with that blank stare, as if to say, “I don’t think so!” In the end, I had a good time conserving money and chit chatting.

It seems like no matter what we are shopping for we come face to face with our conditioning.

This could be about our belief system of how we look in clothes—do we judge ourselves, engage in positive self talk, are we aware of the inner voice that says, “This doesn’t really fit,” or, do we fast forward over the “Wow! You look great!”

I think a consistent yoga practice builds a sense of honesty and objectivity. This may be tested in a store, surrounded by salespeople and pressure.

We need to really hear ourselves think. The more we can do this, the better chance to break out of the conditioning, and experience a truer sense of who we are. This baby step of training our personality has deeper ramifications, as we shed the layers, coming into more direct contact with being versus needing or wanting, trying and all the other “ings” we were shopping for.

Furthermore, being in touch with a sense of stretch, which we get when we practice asana, gives us feedback for daily life. You will know when you are at your maximum reach in your hamstrings and so, should be in touch with how far you can extend your purse strings.

I think the times I can look back on purchases that I did not need and may have a tinge of regret for, are times when I was not in a yoga state of mind. They were moments when I heard, but did not listen to myself. Or, I caved into desires that had nothing to do with what I truly needed at the moment. There was a disconnect, and I have tried to learn how to shop with mindfulness over time.

This goes for buying groceries too. I see many clients who want to lose weight or change their eating patterns. It starts with a meditation on what you buy for your refrigerator.

Truth be told, there are such great yoga lessons in retail shopping. Here is what I try to keep on a mental post-it note each time I head out:

  1. Inward listening under pressure! Om.
  2. Can we check in with ourselves honestly in the moment, or do we need a walk around the block or a day to think about it?
  3. Are we on budget, on resolution, and still focused on what the mission was for?
  4. Did you really need a blouse but you are buying pants instead?
  5. Are they a want or a need?
  6. Is it a “just go for it” day?
  7. Are you able to look in the mirror and love what you see, or is it all negative self-talk?

See, I think the beauty of the yoga system is that it turns us into confident, strong people who make nourishing and positive choices. Life, in this way, whatever you are doing, becomes an art form. Buyer be(a)ware…Enjoy!

Om shanti shanti shanti.


Rana Waxman, the Modern Yogini, has been teaching yoga in Montreal for 17 years. Often called the “Muscle Whisperer”, her inspired style is a balanced blend of vinyasa, alignment and restoratives to heal the body and relax the mind. www.ranawaxman.com




Editor: Seychelles Pitton

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