What is Practice?

Here at the Catholic Yogi we are in the midst of a Twenty-One Day Discipline:  twenty-one days of daily yoga practice.  Some of us are on day seven; depending on the start date others are finding themselves on day five or six, still others might be on day one!

As we move through this particular discipline we might find ourselves stumbling on some questions, such as “what is the best time of day to practice?” or “what in the world should I do when I get to my mat?” or  “what ‘counts’ as practice?”  The answers are different for all of us, especially if we are listening to our inner wisdom.  Let’s use this time to experiment.  Try practicing at different times during the day.  Try writing your own yoga sequence, flow, or class.  Step on your mat with no agenda, follow your wisdom and see what happens!  If you like, keep a journal so that you can remember what works best for you and your routine.

What kinds of challlenges have you encountered?  What kinds of joys have you uncovered?

You climb into bed, well past bedtime.  Does two minutes of savasana (relaxation) while lying in bed, fully covered up and tucked in because you forgot to practice during the day count?  Yes!

You just put two pans of almonds and walnuts in the oven to toast.  You stoop to pick up crumbs from the kitchen floor.  Does a spontaneous two minute squat/half squat/forward bend sequence count?  Yes!

You feel anger and resentment rising in your chest.  You decide to close your eyes and breathe on purpose for 120 seconds.  You even set the timer on your oven, microwave, watch, or smartphone.  Does this count as daily yoga practice?  Yes!

Since no one is napping, you think you can squeeze in two minutes of breathing while the kids play and dance to your favorite laundry-folding playlist.  So you sit in the midst of it, clothes flying, children squabbling and giggling.  You inhale and exhale on purpose.  Does the two minute breathing practice turn into four?  Do you end up moving and stretching on purpose?  Does it count as daily practice?  Yes!

Do you feel called to sit still and listen?  Listen to God, the Universe?  Do you feel called to meditate, contemplate, pray?  Do you respond to the call?  Is this daily practice?  Yes, Yes, Yes!

I’ve found this week that if I shoot for two minutes, I often end up doing six, seven, eight, nine, and ten.  And that is much better than none at all!

I find it hard to practice for only 120 seconds!

I find that life is full of challenge and full of joy.

Happy Practicing!

The Catholic Yogi

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