HELP! YOGA IS TAKING OVER MY LIFE!
by Lisa Stowe
On a recent Saturday afternoon, I ran into a neighbor and fellow mom in our building. One of her first comments was: “I hear you are doing a lot of yoga recently. Daniel and Elliot told me that the only day you are not going to yoga is Thursday.”
What was that about the mouths of babes? Am I really that busy with yoga these days?
The answer is an unqualified yes – adding teacher training to my to-do list, with the attendant requirements to take a non-trivial number of classes, observe and assist at Mala, go to training sessions, and find some time to study, has created a bit of a maelstrom around my carefully crafted schedule. Yoga is not quite my job, but it is not exactly a hobby anymore. The question, as posed by my hubby, is no longer “are you going to do yoga this weekend” but “when are you doing yoga this weekend. “ Between making time to take class, observe, assist or study, there is rarely a day when I am not practicing in some manner.
In both challenging and uplifting ways, my relationship to the practice has also changed as its role in my life has been altered. In classes, instead of focusing on my own mat, my mind is often dragged in the direction of the teacher’s seat, paying attention to his or her sequencing, verbal cues, and assists. When strolling on the sidewalk, instead of noticing someone’s new style of Birkenstocks, I notice when she pronates or supinates as she walks ahead of me. I have dreams about anatomy and muscle attachments. At times, I long for the days when I rolled out a mat 2 or 3 times a week with no strings attached.
Yet at the same time, my shifting relationship with yoga has been incredibly transformative. I’ve found myself drawn to what, 5 years ago, I might have characterized as the “hippy-dippy” elements of the practice. I’ve deepened my own practice. I’ve developed amazing relationships with fellow yogis, to the point at which I no longer introduce someone as a “yoga friend” but simply as a “friend”.
This relationship is likely to change further as teacher training progresses and as I look to add “RYT-200 hour” to my resume in the fall. Hopefully the anatomy dreams will subside and I’ll recapture a student’s perspective on my mat. Hopefully my sense of wonder as I learn about the yoga sutras and delve into a meditation practice will continue to grow. And hopefully Thursday won’t be the only day that Daniel and Elliot characterize as being yoga-free.
Lisa Stowe is a yogi, economist and mom who is as graceful with her arm balances as she is analyzing financial markets and juggling two young children. THE BALANCE SHEET will offer her perspective on integrating and benefiting from a consistent yoga practice amidst the hectic reality of family, work, and home.