Off of the mat

5 Sep

It’s becoming a trite and overused expression in the yoga world… to practice off of the mat. I almost cringe when I hear it now. Nevertheless, I am trying not to be cynical and take it to heart.

My kids fight! The boys are at each others’ throats and my 7-year old has taken to yelling his way through life. (I have a zero tolerance policy against physical fighting, so they just yell instead) My daughter has developed a grumpy disposition and I can feel this new preschool phase of hers creeping up on me.

It’s so easy to jump right into the middle of their energy and scream, “I told you to stop yelling, NOW!” Yes, I do see the irony there. I’m realizing as the wise old woman that I am, to make sure that I am grounded and centered before I interact with them. It’s taking all of my patience and mindfulness to create my own energy pattern and detach from theirs.

How many great yogis of the past had children? Some, but they left them with their mothers! (including my beloved Buddha)  Even the great yoga teachers today who I admire, who have amazing and rich personal practices… many of them have either no children, or one child and often live these urban, organic lifestyles.

Well here I am living out in the suburbs, raising 3 children and driving a mini van. (oh the horror!) I’m balancing their needs with mine, and pulling out of the competitive spirit among the new breed of modern yuppies. I don’t have to be consumed with my next purchase or decorating my house. I don’t even care about what yoga pants I wear. At the end of the day I just want a deeper communion with spirit and the ability to hear my own voice. I want to leave my world a better place than I found it.

So I am declaring a new era of the yogi. Let’s call it the “suburban seeker”.  I can’t think of a better way to hone my yogic skills than to live as a yogini and a mother in the suburbs.  Lord knows, it is ripe with opportunity! This is the first time in history that women can embrace yoga and bring their own nuances and lessons to the mat. It’s also a prime time for me to learn how to balance intense spirituality in a world that needs my attention.

So here I go… off of the mat and into the world!

2 Responses to “Off of the mat”

  1. Lisa Gray September 6, 2007 at 12:27 am #

    Amen, sister! I’m your twin suburban seeker!

    AND, it’s why we need childcare in conjunction with a yoga studio. I can think of NO ONE who needs yoga more than mothers with small children. 🙂

  2. barefootbhakti September 6, 2007 at 4:10 am #

    Note taken…

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