|Stretch your body and you stretch your mind. As Without, so Within.|
Two winters ago I had a daily yoga practice. The stars had aligned, and I found a studio I felt so at home in I HAD to drag myself, through snow, ice and bleary eyed mornings, to an hour and a half of daily practice. It started out a little forced; it ended up being my daily bliss.
Then life got in the way. I moved, I started working ALL the time and slowly my yoga practice went from daily to weekly to sporadic… and lately, rare. I’ve been kicking myself about it a bit. I miss the physical benefits. I plot and plan to start again.
Recently, while struggling with my issues of the day, I witnessed my mind move through judgement of others to reflection of self to release in a relatively short time.
I was having a bad day in the city. I’m not really a city person, I love my life in the woods where I can turn to the beauty of nature for solace at the drop of a hat. But recently I have been called to the city and have been living in Chicago. A few weeks ago I woke up in a sour mood and headed out to do some errands. Everyone I looked at I judged. I was irritated with people the minute I set eyes upon them. It wasn’t my shining moment of lovingkindness. But something happened that turned eveything around. I listened to my thoughts and I neither believed them, nor judged them. Suddenly I realized I’ve been doing this all along. I’m the same person I was before a year of practicing yoga, I can have the negative thoughts, I judge people, and I can be very hard on myself. But I let it go. It’s an ongoing practice, and I learned it during yoga.
|Looking at thoughts as something outside of yourself can lead to startling change.|
One important lesson on the mat is to be where you are. Yoga isn’t about striving to reach a pose that someone else can do, it’s doing a pose the way you are able to. You take it to the edge of your capabilities, and maybe tomorrow you’ll go further. Or maybe you’ll have a set back. And then you’ll be there. Applying these lessons to my life has carried the practice further, even though the number of times I’ve unrolled my yoga mat this year is, well… let’s just say I wouldn’t lose count. Maybe the time is coming when I start it up again. Maybe…
|And now… applying these lessons to the struggles this new chapter in my life, as a working artist.|
***All of the artwork in this post is for sale as miniature originals, beginning at $18, in my etsy shop