The physical practice of yoga is Asana. However Asana is only part of a larger philosophy. Yoga philosophy teaches transformative possibilities, awareness and presence. The question is, can you take the awareness from the yoga mat, to daily life? I think so.
Today I was glancing through the book A Year of Living your Yoga; Daily Practices to Shape Your Life by Judith Hanson Lasater. The book is designed to support your yoga practice off the mat one day at a time over the course of a year. A teaching or aphorism is presented each day with suggestions of how to incorporate Yoga philosophy into daily life.
I have three young active boys and this evening we headed to the local H.S for an evening of tennis and fun. Parenting is a continuous process, a journey, sometimes a struggle. My youngest son likes to do things ‘perfectly.’ At age 4 he taught himself to read. Last summer, he insisted he didn’t need swim lessons, and after watching his brothers he taught himself to swim. I should have been more mindful of this while heading to the court. He felt highly frustrated that he couldn’t play tennis the first time he tried. His frustration increased. I tried every parenting technique I could think of. At a loss, I asked him to sit with me on the bench. Suddenly it came to me, Inhale, Exhale, my daily aphorism for today. “You will experience at least one stressful moment today. When you do, remember to inhale and to exhale. Breathing will slow you down, so you will be more likely to make the choices you enjoy in your life.” So I did, I just sat and inhaled and exhaled. After several minutes we felt calmer and I felt more able to work with him. Paying attention to the small things, the circumstances and the awareness of each moment is the core of yoga practice and is the core of graceful parenting. I’m thankful for the reminder.
Inhale, Exhale, How have you used this in your daily life?
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