The one with taking yoga off the mat

So it’s been five days since I practiced yoga. And by yoga, I actually mean asana, the type of yoga that involves twisting our bodies into crazy poses and focusing on linking the breath to the body (it all does sound kinda weird to write it down like that).

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Did I miss it in that time? No. In fact, I didn’t even think about the fact that I didn’t practice for five days.

Rebel yogi, I know. But actually, practicing asana is just one avenue of practicing yoga. Sometimes people talk about yoga as a lifestyle, and that’s what it is for me, but what does that actually mean?

It can mean maintaining integrity through yogic ethical standards such as Ahimsa (nonviolence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (nonstealing), Brahmacharya (continence), and Aparigraha (noncovetousness).

It can mean practicing self-discipline though powering up for that morning run or that evening pre-bed meditation practice.

It can mean focusing on being mindful in daily tasks, being concentrated in the chaos surrounding you (um, hello waitressing). Sipping that delicious cup of coffee slowly and taking the time to appreciate it.

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(From here)

 

It can mean practicing pranayama (yogic breathing techniques) if that floats ya boat.

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(From here)

It can mean practicing the rituals that are important to your spirituality, such as prayer, church/temple going, chanting, etc etc etc.

It can mean focusing on Jnana yoga, cultivating knowledge and learning, in particular with regards to self-study.

image                                                                 (From here)

It can mean practicing Karma yoga, acts of selflessness, doing things or working and not expecting reward for your actions. Working because the work must be done and simply doing it.

It can mean using mantras to centre yourself.

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(From here)

Many of these things we already do, without putting the yogi labels on them. Or maybe you have a different label for these things. To me, those are all just different words for the same thing. Whatever resonates with you, roll with that. Basically, whether I miss an asana practice or not, yoga permeates every aspect of my life. While I call it yoga, you might call it something else.

Practicing asana every day is wonderful if you can do that. But this week I practiced yoga in other ways, like self-discipline in going for a run early in the morning, brief meditation before going to work, and mindfulness when eating a scone and noticing every part of how delicious it was. Plus, I got to spend an entire week with my parents and really, that is more important to me than yoga ever could be.

 

How did you practice “yoga” this week? Asana, mindfulness, meditation, maintenance of your moral values, breathing techniques, discipline, mantra, etc etc etc… what comes to mind?

 

 

About kiwiyogirunner

I'm a kiwi girl travelling the world and staying grounded through yoga and running! Come hang out and be besties with me while I attempt to navigate my crazy life :) For more details check out my About page!
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10 Responses to The one with taking yoga off the mat

  1. I love that Dalai Lama quote about speaking and listening! I don’t think I practiced “yoga” well this week, but I’ll be working on practicing more discipline next week!

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    • Haha umm didn’t you finish like ALL your exams? You were a disciplined beast! 🙂 Now it is time for relaxation haha. Yeah it is beautiful right? I very much agree with it especially with studying psychotherapy 🙂

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  2. babycrow says:

    love this – thanks for sharing so many wise thoughts. For me yoga is nothing if I don’t practice it off the mat! If I don’t do that it’s just egocentric gymnastics — fun, but a bit empty. This week I’ve been trying to practice compassion for myself and others and compassionate honesty (ahimsa and asteya if you will) in my asana and in my life. My pranayama has mostly been taking a deep breath at times in meetings at work rather than letting ill-chosen words fly out of my mouth!

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    • Aw you are way too kind haha 🙂 Absolutely, I feel the same way. Compassionate honesty can be challenging but what a beautiful journey! 🙂 Just out of interest, do you practice pranayama as a practice alone? I did a lot of it during my yoga course but to speak with satya ( 😉 ) it just didn’t float my boat. But then I wonder if that is the very reason I should practice it. Hmm…

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      • babycrow says:

        Same here with pranayama. I suspect practice would make it more real for me, but like you I just don’t usually… Shall we set ourselves a challenge? Play with it a bit and report back on our blogs in a couple of weeks and see how it went??

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      • I love that idea!! Do you want to maybe play around with it for the rest of May and then we can report back? May can be pranayama month in our worlds hahaha 🙂 Oooh doing something I don’t really enjoy doing, the ol’ ego is not gonna like this 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • babycrow says:

        Pranayama month it is (well half month — how sneaky is that?). We can hate it together, but do it anyway! Breath easy kyr! x

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      • I know right? We are so nifty 😉 Doing my first sesh today! Exciting…. that’s what I’m telling myself!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pa says:

    Lovin the Lama Daily.

    Like

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