Tuesday Tidbits: My home practice isn't pretty

Max with yoga mat
Max with yoga mat

It's 8:24pm on a monday night and I've just gotten done with a short meditation practice.  I know I've got an early morning start tomorrow, but the evening breeze is coming in my bedroom window after a cool rain.  I'm not quite ready for bed.  A piece is missing.  My home practice.

I get up, unroll my mat and set it up in the empty room I practice in.  It's not pretty, my mat is dirty it's been well-loved and no matter how many times I wipe it down with tea tree oil, it still feels grimy to me.  Never mind that, I go change tops to make sure my t-shirt doesn't fall down and distract me.   I've got too many distractions in my mind already I want to mitigate the ones in the body.  When I come back to my mat Max is lying down next to it, at least he isn't on it.  I'll choose my battles and I let him be.  I think when I do yoga it seems to give him a sense of calm and security, but then again I could be imagining that.

My teacher Stephanie said we should lock dogs and children out of our practice space/time.  I do understand why, but max doesn't want to bother me, he just wants to be near me.  I'm on my mat to practice that's all that matters.

I'm getting back to a steady home practice these days.  No, I don't spend 3 hours a day on the mat like some teachers I know and admire, but I do make it a point to get on my mat for a few minutes each day even if I can only spare 10 minutes.  I need the time to listen to my body, I need the time to check in.  It's not pretty, I get distracted, I try to remind myself like I remind my students to stop thinking about the lint between my toes, the chipped toe-nail paint, the dust bunnies in the corner and the list of things I failed to do at work and just breath.  The point is to notice the distractions, acknowledge them and let them go.  Listen to my body, what's tight, what's not, what's going on in the body, what's coming up in the mind.  Notice and let go.

The point is that if we don't show up on our mats to find out, we'll never know.  We need to be home to answer the door.  That's why I head to my mat.  I want to be present for whatever knocks.  What ever calls at my spirit.  To do that we need to put in the work.  We need to show up so I show up.