For the past 8 weeks I’ve spent a lot of time on my yoga mat going through 200-hour yoga teacher training with Corepower Yoga. This is the same studio I started practicing at a little over a year ago when I got a new job here in San Francisco. Sitting down all day at my desk made me want to stretch so badly and clear my head that I committed to regular yoga routine after neglecting it for a long while (I have a tendency to go hard for a few months and then stop for the rest of the year). Now that my teacher training is over, although I still have a quite bit of homework to return and 30 more yoga classes to take until I can register with Yoga Alliance, I’ve started contemplating how I can practice my yoga even when not on my mat. Here are few ideas on how to live your yoga off the mat:
1. Live your truth. Every day we’re faced with ways to be dishonest, but even little white lies are harmful to our psyche. Of course, remember to be thoughtful to the feelings of others because sometimes saying absolutely nothing is just as honest, and healthier than saying nothing at all. As often as you can try to speak the truth with love.
2. Breathe. Sometimes all we can do is breathe. When stuck in traffic, focus on breath. When stressed out dealing with work stuff, breathe. When on your mat and facing a challenging posture, hold it for one more breath.
3. Be present. The next time you have a conversation, take time to listen to what they’re saying rather than thinking about what you’re going to say next. Let their words connect, and you’ll also find that your connection to others grow. I practice this at home by putting my cellphone and laptop away.
4. Be kind. Often nastiness and harsh words come too easily. Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it true? Does it improve the silence? You never what someone is going through so be kind to everyone. This includes yourself, and all other living beings.
5. Give. Share your skills in anyway with people and communities that cannot afford it. It could also be simply just smiling at someone to make their entire day. Remember that we’re connected to everything around us – the divinity that flows in all of us- is yoga/unity.