Friday, March 23, 2007

My Personal Yoga Practice

My practice changes quite regularly. I would say every six weeks or so, my practice takes on a new look. Right now, on a good day, I do four practices each day. One of the reasons I have so many practice times is it gives me flexibility to go with what is going on in my day. So on most days I only get to 2 or 3 of them.

I start the day with a twenty-minute meditation. I use the term “start” loosely since I don’t do it first thing when I wake up. My children need me in the morning for attention, breakfast, dressing, etc. I normally can escape at some point for twenty-minutes before lunch. And, yes, I usually am interrupted during my time. My son (he is 3 years old) needs to check in with me at least two times during my period (especially when my husband is gone already). They know the time is important to me and respect the quiet very well for young children. I choose to see the interruptions as very sweet (especially because he usually comes in to say, “I love you”), knowing that one day soon I won’t have interruptions and will miss them! This period is my most important practice of the day. I fit this in 6-7 days each week. It sets the tone for the day.

My asana practice happens in the afternoon. If I am teaching a class, I don’t do a practice that day or only do a couple of poses. If I am not teaching, I do around 60 minutes of whatever I am working right now. Of course, “60 minutes” is also loosely used. I do my practice in the kitchen with my children doing crafts or eating right there. We chat and I am regularly interrupted by them to help with something. Although my mat is out for an hour, I do probably 40 minutes of yoga. I always put my mat away after an hour. I want my kids to know that my practice time is only that long – that they can count on it – and I don’t want to feel the pull of the mat being out looking at me when it is time to move on and be with them again. I do not attempt Savasana at this time. I do my asana practice 5-6 days each week.

My last two practices occur at the same time – in the evening, after my children are asleep and right before I go to bed, I do a 20-minute Pranayama session, my Savasana, and a 20-minute meditation. This time is also frequently interrupted by children waking and needing something from me. While the morning meditation sets the tone for the day, this session helps me surrender the day and sets the tone for my sleeping. I sleep more soundly and have better dreams when I have fit this time in. I do the meditation aspect 6-7 nights each week and the Pranayama 5-6 nights each week.

Out of all these practices, the morning meditation is my most sacred time. I rarely miss it, even if it hits in the middle of the afternoon, I work to fit it in. Stay tuned for my next entry when I discuss how I finally found time for four practices with children (one of whom I homeschool) and a business to run. (And, no, it isn’t magic! ☺ )