I haven’t been doing yoga for very long, relatively speaking. I used videos off and on for a couple years, but only stepped into a yoga studio for the first time about two years ago. For a brief moment, I was able to go quite frequently, but then life got busy again and I would go once or twice a week. Still good, but I could tell that I wanted more. When my husband changed jobs at the beginning of the year, we knew he’d be travelling for long stretches and that I wouldn’t be able to make it to yoga during that time. I needed to figure out another way because I had discovered that when I do yoga regularly, things happen. Good things, true things, sometimes (emotionally) scary things…but definitely good things. That was when I began a home practice.
Practicing yoga at home is not always easy to do. Finding the time, the physical and mental space, and the desire when there are competing priorities, can be particularly difficult. And then there’s the problem of not exactly knowing what you’re supposed to do. All of these were true for me too, but because yoga had become important to me and because I had no other way to get it, I had to work through them. I now have somewhat of a home practice; it’s still not as regular and consistent as I’d like it to be, but it is the best that I can do for now – and sometimes that is just enough.
It was the other day while doing yoga at dawn that I had a few thoughts about perspective. Sometimes I like to follow something I’ve seen in a magazine and other times I just follow what my body wants and, amazingly, it seems to know what to do. On this day, I was doing a practice designed to help break through old habits or patterns and the emphasis was on small changes to what you usually do. Very small. If you usually do something on the right and then left, start with the left instead. If you normally clasp your hands with the left finger outside, then clasp with the right outside.
Without any prompting from my active brain, about 30 minutes into the practice, the idea of a changing perspective floated to the surface. I was busy, so I didn’t have time to stop and focus on it much, but it continued to float up. I was feeling things differently and, while a tiny bit awkward at first, I liked it. I could imagine seeing things differently in other areas of my life too.
Sometimes we get stuck in a rut, whether it’s what we’re eating or how we perceive ourselves or something else entirely. In my case, I have over 40 years of “knowing” that I’m too shy, reserved, insecure, introverted, or something, to put myself out there. And yet here I am with a blog. Believe it or not, it was a tiny little shift in perspective that got me here. A very dear friend said, “You need to do this. I need to hear what you have to say and so do a few people I love. So just pretend you’re writing to me.”
It is, in fact, an honor and a joy to share my thoughts and recipes with all of you and I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t looked at it from a different angle. Do you ever wonder how your life might be different if you took a different route to work or parted your hair on the other side or ate something unexpected for breakfast? I am so often amazed at the huge impact even the tiniest changes can make. Maybe your future is waiting out there for you but you can’t see it because you haven’t changed something tiny. All I can say is mine is starting to shift…and all I did was start my downward dog on the left.