I try to remember to count my blessings whenever I can. It is very easy to forget to do that, to forget the little things that are really the big things: health, a roof over your head, food on the table and such like. One blessing I am thankful for everyday, however, is having yoga in my life. I feel able to say that here because I’m sure I am in good company and those of you who have happened upon my blog most likely feel the same. Yoga has been a real blessing in my life, although at times, I have to say, a mixed blessing.
When I’m practising yoga I feel so blissful and in touch with myself. It is time for me in an otherwise hectic life and a way of momentarily shutting out the external and truly turning inwards. When you are in an asana you have to be truly in it. There’s no thinking about the overflowing laundry basket when you’re in sirsasana, no, all you’re focusing on is the pose. When you’re working on bakasana you’re not wondering what to have for dinner, you are 100% focussed on the present and the now and the desire not to fall over and break some valuable part of your anatomy!
In stark contrast to the bliss and stillness of my life on the mat, however, is my life off the mat. As a busy working mum with two children under ten, daily life is pretty hectic – everyday is a juggling act between my work, the housework, school, extra-curricular and social commitments not to mention trying to fit in quality family time and time for exercise, etc. etc. you all know the drill I’m sure. It is also a contrast because try as I might to always respond calmly and lovingly to my children or ‘trying’ situations that might present themselves during the course of any day I am not always successful. It is difficult to remain calm when I have told my son to stop climbing the garden fence for the umpteenth time or when constantly acting as referee for my warring children. It is not always easy to remember to be thankful when hanging up the sixth load of washing that week. Sometimes I feel that my life is at odds with my yoga practice. Yoga has shown me how peaceful I can feel inside which is a blessing, but a mixed blessing when I can’t hold onto this all day long which leaves me feeling frustrated at myself. I want to respond to everything in a yogic way, for my own sake and sanity, and for that of my nearest and dearest! I want to be the person I am on the mat, off the mat, if that makes sense. Truth be told I want my life to resemble one long yoga retreat (preferably in the sun, near a beach!) so maybe this is a little unrealistic.
Ultimately life will always throw us challenges and it’s how we respond to them that shapes us. A deeper reading of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is a good place to start and I’m working on it. It is a very inspirational read in fact, I have taken to it with my pencil and am underlining and covering it in *stars* at all the bits to remember! Hopefully it will all start to take shape the deeper I study. Of course, miracles don’t happen overnight and the journey I am on I am sure will lead me to that place of calm in all situations eventually, that’s the plan anyway! I guess even having this as a goal is the first step…