by Steph Creaturo
The holidays can be a great time to practice our “off the mat” skill set. Patience, listening, compassion – holiday situations challenge these skills in a unique way and call on us to employ them out of the familiar container of the yoga studio.
But, knowing when to not practice is just as important. Practice implies active. It requires energy and focus and engagement on all cylinders; it’s not selective. It is realistic to realize when we cannot practice. We aren’t always patient or kind or compassionate. We won’t like everyone. Should we try to practice? Absolutely. But we need to do so in a way where it repletes, not depletes, us. Practicing feeds our energy, as opposed to one more thing we “have to” do. It’s not an item on the checklist of our busy days.
So, the reframing is: what’s realistic practice? What’s integrated and seamless and authentic to each of our lives? Because that’s the real muck. Noting when we choose to practice versus choosing when not to practice provides a framework that we can use to chart habits and patterns – in our thoughts, our behaviors, our actions. And we know when we are too tired, too sick to practice. Because, let’s be honest, sometimes we don’t practice and we may never will. Does this keep us comfortable? No. But acknowledging when we really practice versus when we perceive to practice is powerful. And that acknowledgement is where the bigger shifts happen in many ways.