How to Practice Yoga when it Matters

Have you heard of the Nextdoor App? It’s basically a way for neighborhoods to get connected virtually, either via the application on their phones or through a website or even emails. The application is a great way to spread the word about things in your neighborhood, stuff like lost cats, suspicious people, look for help with a small yard project, even let people know about neighborhood yoga popups! I learned about this app from our T/Th mid-day flow teacher, Kathryn

(who is AMAZING you guys, if you haven’t had the chance to practice with Kathryn, you need to check her out!!)

I digress, so I signed up for my neighborhood’s group in this app when Thrive Yoga and Wellness first started having the yoga pop ups this season. It’s been interesting, getting to know my neighbors- but hands down, the BEST part about this app has been learning about “Dodger” the “Highway Rogue Chicken”

Dodger, named this by someone in our neighborhood, is a female black chicken that somehow ended up taking up residence in the overgrowth on the north side of the onramp to the freeway.. Dodger was first noticed back in April and has sparked quite a bit of conversations with the neighborhood–usually funny–about how she came to be, what she is doing, what will become of her–everyone is very interested in little Dodger, the black, death defying chicken that has made her home beside the freeway.

Well, this morning, a sad neighborhood announcement was made; the authorities were spotted on the side of the onramp trying to catch Dodger (who, some say, had a “good run at it.”) Little Dodger, the amazing, lone chicken.

I’m sure you guys are taking off your hats and putting your hand on your heart. Truly, a sad day….

But is it? Dodger is more than likely going to be rescued by an amazing farm to live out the remainder of her chicken life, foraging for bugs and other things with a nice scratch supplement for good measure. (I may be embleshing here, but please, let me live my Dodger dreams!).

While the neighborhood is sad to see Dodger go, the fact of the matter is, Dodger is better off not living on the side of the road. She’s better off being rescued–however traumatic it may be at present–living in a place that offer her a bit more security, maybe less freedom, but a whole bunch more room to roam without a freeway speeding by.

How does this relate to yoga? I promise I’m getting there. 😉

Recently, I made my 1 yr old son very angry. He is very curious about the stairs, and thank heavens we live in a single story house, but there are 4 very short stairs down into the laundry room that have recently become his obsession. He knows he’s not supposed to go down there–or even over there for that matter, but he constantly tries to. (He gets that from me…) Well, the other day, when I was helping Adalia, my daughter, go to the restroom, he seized the opportunity, and headed straight for the stairs.

Carpe diem and all that you know.

Well, you guessed it, that ended up with him face down at the bottom of the stairs (seriously, not very far, but still, it’s a fall.) He was crying, Adalia was upset, the dogs were all underfoot trying to figure out what the fuss was about. It was basically pandemonium. Or, as I like to say, another day in the life. You’d think he would learn, but NO, all day today, he’s been heading straight over to the steps, trying to conquer his new greatest foe, the laundry room stairs.

I say this with a little tongue in cheek humor, but how often do we do stuff like that? We know we need to stay away from whatever, but we go right there anyway (can you say the chocolate drawer?!?!)

Little Dodger the Rogue Chicken doesn’t have the capacity to know that speeding just 5 feet away from her head, up a concrete hill, are 4 wheeled vehicles traveling at speeds that would surely end her short life, if she just meandered that way once. Caleb, my son–he didn’t know the risks at first, but now he does, and he still wants to go to the darn steps.

As adults, we aren’t much better. I know I certainly am not. Have you ever kept running even when your knee or back were stabbing you? (I’m raising my hand here) Have you ever kept stretching even though your hamstring felt like someone was about to rip it? Have you ever kept pushing even though your body said, “Hey, let’s back off a bit?”

Here’s a non-physical scenario–have you ever kept thinking thoughts you KNOW led to nothing good, but you didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t stop that train of thought? Ouch. That one stung a bit. If you’re like me, you may have wanted to raise your hand on more than one of those questions.

As adults, we don’t have a parent around to keep us away from the stairs. As adult humans, we have reasoning skills to know we shouldn’t take up residence on a freeway onramp. As adults, we try to help those that can’t help themselves yet–be it chicken or child, but sometimes the accountability is lost. This is exactly where Yoga and your Thrive Yoga and Wellness Community come in.

When you are practicing your yoga, only you can feel what is going on. Only you can move and breathe and focus. It’s a choice to do all three–move, breathe, focus.. When you’re off the mat, you have that same practice ability, and it’s the on the mat practice that helps prepare us for the off the mat experiences.

The way you treat your body on the mat will shine through in how you treat your body off the mat. The voices that you let control your mind on the mat, are the exact same voices that you let control your mind off the mat. It’s the time practicing ON the mat, that helps you better manage the time off the mat.

You have a responsibility to yourself, to your children and grandchildren, to your friends and family–you have a responsibility to be healthy in body mind and spirit–so you can be an example, living proof of the effectiveness of your practice.

How do you manage that responsibility?  How do you practice yoga when it really matters?

Today, I want to encourage you to keep at it. Keep coming to the mat. Keep focusing on your breath. Control your breath, it’ll help you control your mind, which will help you control your body (thank you to Kristy for that mantra.) Each time you practice, take the time to listen to yourself, listen to your body. Is your body saying to slow down? LISTEN! Is your body telling you to push? LISTEN! Is your body telling you to just be still? DO IT!

This is hard, especially if you have an idea of what it is you WANT to do–so if your shoulder is killing you, don’t do that chaturanga. If your hamstring is hurting, don’t push that forward fold. Alternatively, if you stayed up too late watching Queen of the South last night, and woke up regretting the lost 2 hours of sleep, don’t give in to that thought that says, I can’t practice…..You know your body will thank you for it.

It’s a balance. It’s a union between opposing forces. It’s 100% Yoga.

Come, practice your yoga with me and all your friends here at Thrive Yoga and Wellness. Enjoy the hour that you have to be fully present and available to yourself. Honor the amazing body and time that you have. It will truly help you to Thrive.

2 thoughts on “How to Practice Yoga when it Matters”

  1. I agree, Monya! I use CBD almost daily now to help with minor aches and pains–and even better to help with recovery from a vigorous practice! Thanks for sharing!

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