Yoga Off the Mat

Lately I’ve been thinking along the lines of “Oh, I couldn’t/wouldn’t get to yoga today, my day is ruined, woe is me, I feel crappy, I can’t function without yoga, now I’m in the black pit of despair and all is lost.” Maybe not that dramatic (usually), but I’ve been pretty quick to blame my problems on the fact that I haven’t been going to yoga enough.

Only that excuse is empty. One of the miraculous things about yoga is that it can be done anywhere, anytime. Guru Jen always tells me, “If you’ve done your breathing, you’ve done your yoga.” Dedicating five minutes a day to Pranayama is doing yoga. Even activities most of us don’t think of as having any connection to yoga–volunteering, taking a nature walk, simply sitting still and meditating–can be yoga.

Sometimes I forget that yoga is not just a series of physical poses; it’s a life philosophy that you can involve with every aspect of your life, if you choose.

A little greenbelt I stopped to enjoy before one of my classes on Wednesday

Pausing to be grateful: I am grateful to be in this city that is so full of quirkiness and friendliness and, well, yoganess. I am grateful to be attending a program from which I can learn so many valuable skills, at one of the best universities in the world. I am grateful to have people who love me, who are so willing to support me and support my dreams. I am grateful that my love for them and their love for me keeps me alive. I am grateful for my ridiculous cats, who are always home when I return. I am grateful that I can let myself get a little (read: completely over-the-top) sappy when I need to. 😉

Yoga is not being able to stand on your head for five minutes–it’s great if you can, but the purpose of anything we do in yoga is to connect to the divine spirit that resides in all of us (an idea that you can interpret in whatever way you’d like).


Enough with being entirely focused on how many times a week I actually get on the mat. Not that that’s not important–but if I can’t get myself there for whatever reason, I can breathe. Ujjayi breath can be practiced anywhere. I can as well practice letting go of judgement, of myself and of others; practice being grateful; practice acceptance; practice feeling the sun on my skin. Preferably, of course, with a good sunscreen–I am one pale yogi and that Texan sun is hot. 🙂


2 responses to “Yoga Off the Mat

  1. I think this is very well put. You once told ME (when I was frustrated at not being able to do some of the yoga poses well) “wherever you are now is where is you are supposed to be!” So take your own advice as you are telling yourself here. Namaste.

  2. I agree; even how you approach people and the world, could be considered a form of meditation:)

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