One of my students from the Subtle Yoga Training Program asked me how I possibly have time to do all my practices in the morning and then get my son off to school and my husband off to work and then do all the work I do myself.
Well, let’s see, I rise at 3 am, meditate for two hours, do one hour of asanas, grind wheat berries by hand, bake fresh bread, or muffins if I’m in the mood, wash the floor, write a few aricles or blogs and run 6 miles before anyone else even wakes up! It just makes me feel so good all day long. Oh and by the way, did I mention that I fast twice a week on nothing but fresh kale juice from my garden?
Okay, so here’s the reality check: I do what I can and I eschew guilt. I get enough sleep, I accept that my 30 (on a good day 45) minutes of morning meditation may be done with a 4 year-old pirate on my lap. I do yoga with my pirate hanging around coaching me on my cobra or crawling under me during a wheel pose – and if I don’t do as many postures as I would like – so what? Even one makes me feel better than none at all. I try not to freak out when, at the end of the day, there are pieces of old toast, several small rocks and various superhero figures where the furniture cushions should be (which by the way, are arranged as a pirate ship on the floor). My family is fed, happy, well-rested, basically clean – that’s the reward of my practice.
When I was in college, a women’s studies professor told me, “Guilt is a useless emotion. The flip side of the guilt is responsibility.” So, when it comes to my practice, my first question is what am I responsibile for? Did I gladly accept those responsibilities? My first responsibilities are my relationships. And that means my relationship to my deepest self as well my family, friends and students. So am I holding my relationships up? Am I supporting them? Am I balancing them? If I can answer yes, then guilt is a non-issue. It’s easy to be a yogi when you don’t have any relationships. But the real inner work is done with others. Samgacchadvam. Together we move towards enlightenment, not alone on isolated purple yoga mats.
Here is my little pirate jumping off the plank