Just the other day, as I was working through a particularly challenging sequence requiring my utmost concentration to “open my hips,” my 10 year old decided to dump out a container of bottle caps for an art project she’s working on. Right next to me and my yoga mat. The sound of hundreds of bottle caps hitting the hard wood floor is really quite helpful when you are trying to “focus your attention inward and let go of all external distractions” as the ever helpful yoga teacher video was telling me to do.
As I lightly “floated” into ardha chandrasana (half-moon pose), my 7 year old yells from the kitchen: “When’s dinner?” My husband helpfully yells back that Mom is doing yoga now and dinner will be ready soon. My 10-year-old then helpfully proceeds to drop each bottle cap back into the plastic container from which she dumped them out of. This cacophony of sounds was exactly what I had in mind for the background music for my practice. Wasn’t this track 7 on some sort of sounds of yoga cd?
It was during this particular yoga session that I thought if only I could have a room of my own, as Virginia Woolf wrote in a somewhat confusing essay, I could practice yoga without all these earthly distractions.
For example, I wouldn’t have to try to do a forward fold with my dog sitting on my mat.
I wouldn’t have to smell doggie breath.
I wouldn’t have to open my eyes from savasana (corpse pose) and see my dog’s under carriage as she stands over me. Gross!
Yes, it would be glorious to have a room just for me, my yoga mat, and a candle. With this set up, I’m sure I could achieve some sort of enlightenment or understanding of our collective consciousness (or is it unconsciousness?) or activate my root chakra or something.
You know what, though, I think I’ll take my loud, messy (don’t get me started on the cat hair), somewhat chaotic yoga over a sterile, lonely practice any day.
Practicing yoga in the eye of the storm (or my living room), I get to share this space with my dog, kids, and husband. My dog gets some extra snuggle time; my kids get to see me work through difficult poses and we all laugh when I fart in happy baby pose (isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?). My husband gets to support me when he sees me go to the mat day after day.
Isn’t all of this, the movement of life, what makes living and yoga meaningful?
Today’s Lesson: Becoming more present means accepting the realities of what is going on right now—the noise, the mess, the fact that I’m practicing yoga today wearing a flannel and sweatpants and drinking coffee between poses—and not judging the situation or the people around us.
Please excuse all typos and terseness – I had too many cocktails last night.