Lisa Stowe is a yogi, economist and mom who is as graceful with her arm balances as she is balancing budgets and juggling two young children. We’re thrilled that she’ll be writing the PRACTICE MAKES PRACTICE column while Sandra Bark is travelling for work.
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS…
by Lisa Stowe
As I packed for a trip to Las Vegas last week, it was a no brainer to include yoga clothes and a mat. Despite the fact that the mat stuck to the belt in security and didn’t quite fit through the aisle of the plane while slung on my back, it still appeared to be an essential piece of carry-on luggage. Fortunately, that assertion proved to be correct.
Similar to how retreats allow us to “advance” our own practice, the experience of practicing on the road often provides a much needed boost to my home practice. Staying in a hotel, with no husband or kids depending upon me, I had time to just be – and to just practice. As a result of the 3 hour time difference, I was wide awake at 5 AM and didn’t think about what to do – I just rolled out my mat to practice.
Away from the nurturing space of Mala, and without even a DVD or podcast to guide me, I didn’t overanalyze the poses, I just practiced. Sequencing flowed, not from a desire to be clever, not via the path of least resistance, and not as mimicry of an Angela class, but from what I needed at that moment. Warm up led to sun salutes, and flowed into standing poses. Next up was a gradual wind down to seated poses, supine poses, and savasana, not because Light on Yoga told me so, but because that is what felt right. The breath was no longer work, and some light pranayama seemed like the most obvious way to spend my time in supported rest.
In our culture, we often get caught up in doing things the “right” way and excelling in our endeavors, including yoga. When we step away from our usual environment and really focus on our own practice, it allows us to have an actual “practice”, as opposed to looking at yoga as a way to help us fill out Lululemon pants nicely. As I return to my everyday life, I hope to be able to retain that focus on my personal practice, as opposed to a desire to do yoga the “right” way. Here’s hoping that, at least in this case, what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas.