Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Taking Yoga Off the Mat

Ever since I started practicing yoga I have heard this talked about – whether it’s during a class, in a magazine, a book or a blog I’m reading. I guess my initial reaction to the phrase was probably along the lines of ‘oh that sounds lovely’, but not really understanding how that would happen. After 5 months of regular practice, I get it, I really do.

Last week I was at Kensington for a morning walk with Izzie. I wasn’t in the best mood that morning, frustrated with the scale not moving last week even with all the healthy eating and extra walking I was getting in. So I was there for my walk with more of a ‘must do’ attitude than a ‘want to do’ one. Izzie obviously felt my attitude because she was doing everything possible to frustrate me and prevent me from getting my 3 mile walk in. Not listening when I told her ‘let’s go’ or ‘come on’, planting her feet down firmly while she sniffed plants, dragging me as she tried to run after a chipmunk or stop and stare at a turtle. Then I realized, Izzie wasn’t trying to frustrate me (of course not!), she was simply enjoying herself! Yoga teaches me not to fight things, to enjoy the present moment. In an instant I realized that Izzie was helping me take my yoga off the mat and into the world! I changed my attitude in a split second, acquiesced and let her lead me to the water’s edge where fish were jumping around in the water. I stopped worrying about my pace and getting my heart rate up and instead enjoyed the peacefulness of the morning at the lake and the joy and amusement at watching Izzie jump back after sniffing the water. How did I ever let negative thoughts overtake enjoying the present? What a great lesson to learn – and I can thank both my yoga practice and Izzie for it!

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