We have just moved house, my partner and I. In the midst of trying to insure we have all our things in spaces that make sense, I’ve been eyeing the large deck and huge lounge floor.
This house is made for practicing Yoga.
Which I haven’t done in I don’t know how long. Not specifically the sort that everyone thinks of when they hear the word ‘yoga’, anyway. That is to say: my life has had no asana practice for a couple weeks.
Since asana is only one of eight – 1 of 8! – limbs of Yoga, dropping it hasn’t dropped Yoga from my life. No, instead it has opened up more time and focus for the other limbs.
Yamas and Niyamas, baby, that’s my Yoga these days. The first two limbs. Just one of each. And I like this Yoga lots.
In the way that asana can unwind the body, I find the yamas and niyamas help unwind my mind.
Kara-Leah has written lovely, honest, wonderful series about her exploration of the Yamas. I actually think that her focus on them, one at a time, laid the foundation for my own dedication this year to two of the principles found in these first limbs of Yoga.
If you aren’t aware, moving house is a major stressor, it’s one of the kind of things that psychology intakes note, along with major relationship shifts and death of family. This house move is, for me, a note of the seriousness of my partnership as well, so it’s a bit weighty all around.
The constant emphasis on being content with the wonderful things in my life is a powerful destressor indeed. One that I have thanks to Yoga.
The discipline of limiting purchases for the year (wool…I’m an avid knitter) through acknowledging the inner and outer voices that tell me things I don’t have are better than those I already own aids quite directly in reducing the stress of moving – money is one of the top issues couples have, and lots of money goes into moving!
If I’m cranky with my guy while we’re trying to discuss something and our differences of nationality start to break down communication…breathing in the fact that I love this man and am dedicated to being with him easily returns me to a calm state of mind.
I become content with not having the same basic understandings of words in certain instances and rededicate to being clear in my conversation.
Content with my habits and patterns as well as my partner’s, I can then take them as building blocks for our relationship, not stumbling blocks.
When I’m standing front of environmentally friendly kitchen serving instruments and realize they are 1) nicer than the ones I bought just days before and 2) more in keeping with my principles – non-grasping allows me to step back and walk away without feeling I’m lacking some necessary piece of my life.
It helps me acknowledge that the fate of the world does not hinge on my purchasing behaviour alone.
These two limbs continue to open space for me to recognize and remember that I’m incredibly fortunate to have a job I enjoy that pays me fairly and enables me to not only purchase special tools for baking and cooking, but to feed myself well every day.
Yoga is a system aiming to make your whole life more delightful. Not just lengthen your hamstrings. From my perspective, it’s not even about lengthening life, it’s about increasing the quality of it.
Now that my quality of life includes a house with large practice spaces, and now that I’m not running in circles trying to cram this new abode full of shiny, non-necessary items, I’m ready to get down and wag my tail happily in Downward Facing Dog.
My hamstrings are less content than my head just now.
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