“Step Out of Your Routine” is one of the affirmations beaming from my vision board. And it’s fitting given the last couple of weeks has been nothing but routine, particularly my yoga practice while I was on the road.
Up until last Tuesday, I was on holiday travel for about 1.5 weeks. In order to continue with my daily yoga practice, I had to settle for practicing on plushy carpet. If you’re a yogi, you know carpet is not ideal particularly for a practice that is mostly standing & arm balancing poses that are best supported by a hard surface.
For the last 8+ years, I’ve fully known in advance of travel the carpet circumstances will exist. I take my travel yoga mat anyway to DE, KY, LA and wherever else and just do my best. Yet as I move through my vinyasa practice, trying to simply stay focused on my breath, there is always this underlying thought of “I wish I had a harder surface to practice on”.
So a few days before New Years Eve while in KY at my in-laws – don’t worry we spent 12/31 and beyond in New Orleans 🙂 – I unrolled my mat and jumped into downward facing dog to kick off my morning practice. Immediately my mind went right to chatting with the carpet. Then something shifted. Suddenly I realized that my practice that day/moment doesn’t have to be like it is at home. At the same time, my vision board and the “step out of your routine” phrase popped into my head.
Again there was a shift. I started to live my yoga in that moment. Simply, I woke up to what could be possible in that moment if I just surrendered to my circumstances vs. resist (which I’ve been doing with the carpet for 8 years). I started to explore down dog by playing with as many variations that my body & breath led me into. I practiced Sun Salutations from sitting in dandasana. Then I stretched fully on my back (horizontal tadasana as I’ll call it) and explored Sun Salutations from there. I worked in the moment with what I was given rather than forcing my routine into the now. The result of stepping out of my routine (in this case, dropping a mental fixation), I had an extremely creative and refreshing asana practice – physically, mentally and spiritually.
To conclude, I leave you with a quote I seem to keep stumbling upon: You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state. – Sharon Gannon