3 hours past my alarm clock - and the practice begins....

photo-2 turns out that diving into a routine that involves a 5:30am (ish) wakeup time, 6 to 7 days a week, on a Sunday morning following a late night closing out the biz might not be the best way to get something regular and sustainable rolling. yet i practiced on - albeit 3 hours past when my daily yoga practice was pitted to start.

sustainability took on a whole new meaning this saturday as i sat in a room of probably 50 yogis. less was the conversation about minimizing our impact on our environment, or about eating less meat and making a smaller and more sustainable world contribution, and moreso was the conversation about us - every single one of us - and what we do as our daily practice. outside of our 'routines' - get up, bathroom, put on coffee, shower, make smoothie, paper, hair, face, clothes, make lunch, roll out - the workshop was focused on a true daily yoga practice.  shudders down my spine as i learned that the next two hours was going to be exactly what i didnt think it was going to be (i wore my most moisture wicking stretchy pants in anticipation for what i thought was going to be a sweat-fest) - and that i would be sharing my every excuse about what draws me away from a daily commitment to myself.

a very sweet, very bearded ryan leier was our guide into contemplation and consideration. after spending two months in Pune, India with none other than BKS Iyengar (this dude has MAD skills - and the BEST eyebrows i've seen on anyone - ever) and moving through his daily routine and a very most intense yoga practice, ryan returned ready to share his take aways from his time with the master. the focal point: daily practice.

what i heard in our conversation:

  • it doesn't take much. it is and can be simple - for anyone and everyone. 3 postures a day. 12 to 17 minutes. done.
  • regularity and routine in how you commit to the practice creates flow and ease. (EVEN if you sleep past your alarm one day....or two)
  • it looks different for every single one of us. every. single. one of us.
  • yogis DO drink coffee (Iyengar takes his with sugar and a bit of milk - 2 cups a day. #truth #thankthejavagods)
  • as much as it is a practice, it's a process. and for all those achievers out there (yep, i'm with ya on this) - learning to be ok with it not looking 'perfect' might be one of the biggest lessons you'll experience.
  • you choose your practice. you choose your balance.

we talked about what postures we needed.  we talked about time of day to practice, breathing techniques, research and learning, meditation - the list goes on. what i couldn't move past was the concept of sustainable practice. my athletic pursuits have always been just that - pursuits. driving the bus to a rad destination, yet without an idea of what i'm going to do when i get there.  which, admittedly feels great - for a while. then, the pushing, sometimes forcing, feels to be too much. and i fall off the proverbial bandwagon. my shift? committing to what works - what feels right, in each moment, in each day i practice, and going with that. i've got this raging awareness about how hard i can make things - how little time i choose to afford myself, and how tough i can be on myself when i am in the pursuit of something. how NOT living in the moment is THAT?

i digress.

so, i will practice. daily. four postures. 23 minutes. and take each day and its' practice as it comes. whether that is at 5:30am when my alarm clock rouses me (yeesh), or if it is at 8:30am when i recover from a particularly deep slumber. i practice. and each day will be absolutely everything it needs to be.

post production beach bums

I have always identified being in a career as being in early to the office, pounding out the hours, chat around the water cooler, jump into and out of meetings, and stay working well into the evening before running home to cook a dinner, repack your life into two to three bags for the next day, then off to bed for another round of the same.  five days a week.  52 weeks a year. however many years you choose (or your bank account tells you to).  evenings weren't so much for shenangians like lolly-gagging on the beach with a frisbee, taking in the evening sun - but for catching up on what was missed in your emails that day. a bleak outlook, i know.

considering life as a 'career woman' today, with the company that I so ECSTATICALLY find myself working for, looks so very, very different from my long term idea of what it meant to be in a career.  a very good different, let me be clear.  I actually only recently shifted my thinking to look at the work that I do daily to be my career and my career path.  the 'C' word always had some taboo, negative, 'nose to the grind' type connotation behind it that i definitely shyed away from wanting to identify with.  i was much more comfortable knowing that i was doing work that i loved for a company that i was passionate about, and sat in that place of contribution and dedication without definition.

who knew you could have both?!?

in realizing that loving what you do in all aspects of your life (personal, health, professional) creates a life you love, and in fully being expressed in each of those aspects of what makes you YOU, you become a complete, authentic and fully engaged representation of your happiest, most loving self, and find opportunities for success left, right, and center.  they can be right under your nose waiting for you to realize your potential for happiness...... so open your heart to open your eyes, and grasp what's in front of you!

i spent my post production (apres work, if you will) hours relaxing on kits beach people watching, taking in the activity of the night, and celebrating the athleticism that is Kitsilano (open water swimming trainers, you rock my world!).  I knew I had put in a productive day, and that the chance to find that balance, grab some vitamin D, and really take in my love for my environment would up my happy factor.  All good reasons to close down the work station and leave those emails for tomorrow :)

own your love of life, share it with the ones you love, and celebrate often!

xo j