Tag Archive: notes to self

A day without morning yoga

By all “objective” measures I had an easy day today. Yet as I was walking from the parking garage to my office building for the first meeting of the day, I felt a sense of tiredness, discomfort, and sadness that I haven’t felt in a long time (2 months, to be precise). As I was wondering what was going on, I remembered that I had to leave the house in a hurry and I didn’t practice my 15 minutes of yoga this morning.

The day got worse, but in a very familiar way – one that once was my normal. I felt tired and frazzled, very frazzled. The peace and joy that have accompanied my daily life for the past couple of months were nowhere to be found, just faint memories without any truth in the present moment experience. It’s like I forgot to turn them on today.

By the time 5:30 came around I was desperate to make it to yoga class and get into child’s pose for a few minutes. I felt much better after class, like I always do, and sat for meditation as soon as I got home.

Today, I wondered how I even got through life until 2 months ago when I started practicing just a tiny bit of yoga every day. The difference in the tone of my day is huge. I am amazed at what a big difference just 15-20 minutes a day can make. I’m addicted.

Dear darling self, remember that.

“Don’t try to relax.

Don’t try to quiet your mind.

Don’t try to be comfortable.

Don’t try to be peaceful.

Don’t try to be in some condition that might please people.

Don’t try to be spiritually advanced.

Don’t try to be intelligent.

Don’t try to control your energy.

Simply be in a state of not trying.

You can stay in this state for as much as you like and then if you have an inclination to do some action you can go ahead and perform that action with minimal effort and then return to the state of not trying. If words arise and you feel an inclination to speak, you can speak with minimal effort and return to the state of not trying.”

The trick, then, is to not try to not try…



On the fly

I’m traveling a lot these couple of weeks, and, even though I bought toesox to practice yoga during my trip, it isn’t happening. Too little time, too many



people I want to spend it with. As my teacher writes, being fully in the moment with them rather than wishing I were practicing yoga is my yoga these days. I don’t know if reading Yoga Journal on the plane counts?! 🙂

But what I do try to do wherever I am is to be present and mindful – and here is a wonderful article about integrating brief moments of mindfulness throughout the day. Excellent reminder.



Leaves blowing in the wind

photo credit: flickr user sparetomato

It’s been very windy in Indiana in the past few weeks. The cool, dry, windy weather is likely to lead to vatta imbalances. That’s exactly what happened to me. I was busy, stressed, and scattered. My mind was racing to all the things I had to do, just like a leaf blown by the wind in random directions. I spent a week, or maybe even 10 days, forgetting that I could take a deep breath, forgetting that I had some skills to settle down and help myself feel better – let alone actually practicing them.

Then things settled down a bit, I finished some tasks that had been piling up, and external circumstances allowed me to take a minute to think. I realized then that I had the symptoms of vatta imbalance. And that exactly when I need it the most, that’s when I forget to slow down or don’t have the patience to do so.

I started dressing warmer, eating cooked, warm foods such as cooked Morrocan lentils, roasted butternut squash (see previous posts). At least on weekends, I took the time to give myself a warming oil massage, and I took time to practice a vatta pacifying yoga sequence (from this book).

Now, I’m trying to make a conscious effort to slow down, take that breath, make some time for yoga no matter what. Yesterday, I was full of energy and ready to get going and start my errands for the weekend. I wasn’t in the mood for slowing down, I was eager to get out the door. And yesterday, I was lucky enough to realize, that it is exactly on days like that, when I’m ready to burst out the door like a gust of Fall wind, that I need to slow down, touch the base, warm up, get grounded, and only then go, step by mindful step.

Emergency Procedures

1. Breathe.

2. Stay with it. Don’t try to judge it, label it,
diagnose it, fight it, fix it. Just sit and watch.

3. Give your mind time to quiet down. But don’t
get caught in endless rumination (see #2 above).

4.On an exhale, dive deeper down, where waters
are still and blue. (iTunes link, see episode 221, Presence)

5. No worries, all you have to do is breathe.