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Monday, October 19, 2009

Shifting Gears

I woke up this morning trying to reconcile missing my Monday morning Yoga class. My mind and body have taken so long to regain a regular practice, that any interruption, be it illness, PTO, kids’ schedules or basic life needs, forces me to practice Mind-Bending Yoga*. Breathing into those places in my mind that are tight, the same way I breathe into tightness in my body, in Asana practice, reinforcing my mind’s flexibility. On days like this I wonder if I can go deeper. And then I do.

Sometimes the shifts are so subtle, but make a huge impact.

When my oldest daughter was two years old, I took a rare moment to unroll my mat and practice with a DVD. My husband planned to entertain her while I closed the guest room door for some oh so needed Me time. Her strong will was no match for his good intentions and before I knew it, she was knocking down the door. My first response was a deeply rooted selfish one. And as I looked her in the eyes, telling her she had to go back downstairs to Daddy, that this was Mommy’s time, I had an epiphany. This sweet child would only be this small and this sort of sweet for a short time. SHIFT.

In that moment, I changed the picture of my practice to include my daughter. Once I saw here there with me, I knew in which direction to focus my mindfulness. We played Yoga for 30 minutes, together. We had a blast! Four years later, I’m fairly sure we set one of her stepping stones on the path to the person she will become.

Today, I decided that it was okay not to stick hard and fast to my idea of how the start of my week was going to be. Sometimes there are unseen forces at play. I was reminded, when I picked up my two year old and felt a different kind of shift in my lower back. A day of rest can restore more than a body, it can reset a mind.

*Mind-Bending Yoga is a term I use to describe more than meditation in motion. Meditative breathing while in stillness or in chaos, in life or on a cushion, not intending to eradicate thought, rather to ease the stressful aspects of certain thoughts by breathing into them. As we do in Asana practice when we focus our breath to discomfort in the body, only it’s direction is toward our mind.


  1. Cool, cool....sure wish I could put my thoughts together as well as you do! Keep on writing

  2. Loved it. Such excellent writing -- really got into it right away. You are a great storyteller. Blog looks great too. Natalie