Thursday, January 5, 2012

Your friend, the Reality Yogi

Let's say it's the end of a long day and you FINALLY have a bit of downtime to yourself. And if we're being honest (and we are, or at least, I'm about to be) you're probably most likely to grab a glass of wine, or maybe some chocolate, and definitely a lime La Croix, and sneak a moment to catch up on your DVR. Maybe it's Top Chef, Housewives, Weeds, The Sing-Off, or a Hereos marathon on Netflix. Or some Law & Order: SVU. Or you catch up on your internet-world for a minute - Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger. Maybe read a few Mind-Body-Green posts or the YogaGlo blog. Or maybe you do both at the same time. (By the way, if this is true for you, word for word, it also seems that WE ARE THE SAME PERSON. Haha!) And then you think, because you're my yoga student, hmm, my yoga teacher is always saying to incorporate yoga in my REAL life, to do a few poses before bed, maybe 15 minutes in Legs Up The Wall or something like that. BUT WAIT! She also says that my yoga practice is supposed to be this sacred, spiritual time - so I have to choose!


(this may, actually, be true, but, we'll just overlook that for the moment!)


Okay. You don't have to choose. At least, I don't think you have to choose. Here's what I've figured out, on my personal journey of yoga - in my own practice.

Have your wine, have your chocolate. Drink your La Croix. Watch Housewives. Or ESPN. Or the History channel. Or listen to your favorite very UN-YOGIC music. Whatever floats your boat. And while you do:

  • Spend 20 deep, full breathes in PIGEON pose on the right leg.
  • Keeping the right leg forward, bring the left leg around, foot to the outside of the right thigh, and TWIST to the left for a few breathes.
  • Bring the left leg down on top of the right, shins and knees stacked, coming into DOUBLE PIGEON for 10-20 breathes, folding forward over the hips if it feels right.
  • REPEAT on the LEFT side.
  • Sit in SUKASANA - easy pose, or simple cross-legged post and take a few, long deep breathes. Maybe a few Ujjayi breathes. Notice how you feel.
(All the while, you're still paying half your attention to listening to Camille and Kyle discussing Taylor's marriage, or Kim being totally crazy, or Lisa and Adrienne just being uber rich. Or all of them screaming at each other. Simultaneously.)

Listen, I'm not saying this should REPLACE your mindful, focused SADHAHA, or practice of yoga. Truly. I know I could catch a lot of flack from some yoga camps that think that if you're not completely focused on your alignment and breath (because, let's face it, you CAN'T be totally mindful or those things when you're also listening to Housewives, and yes, yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind) then you're not doing yoga and you're risking injury. But at the same time, as an ADDITION to your mindful practice, this is a great way to work some additional yoga, gentle stretching and deep breathing into the REALITY of your day.

Try it. Let me know what you think. Take any modifications you need to take, and BREATHE into it.

PS - you can replace any of those shows to the shows that are YOUR guilty pleasure, that you're maybe wise enough to keep to yourself, unlike me. ;)
PPS - My other favorite, which takes just about the same amount of time, is 15 minutes in Legs Up The Wall. You can actually WATCH the TV, not just listen to it when you do this. =)

The Reality Yogi

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