One of my teachers would say “enter the zen from here.” What does that mean? And what does that look like in practical terms? Here is an example from my life of practicing yoga in everyday life.
Scene: The DMV
The characters: Me, my child in tow and the employees at the DMV.
The DMV is crowded, stuffy and teaming with people that don’t want to be there pressed into every square inch of space that is available. My dear sweet daughter in tow. My goal is to get my husband his disabled person placard (he had surgery in January)! Background I mailed in the paperwork to the DMV the day after his surgery, and it took them a month to mail it back saying they didn’t know what ACL surgery was and they needed it spelled out. Anterior Cruciate Ligament is what ACL stands for and I can only guess the person who received the paperwork at the DMV didn’t watch sports.
How does this apply to YOGA? My goal for my yoga practice is more off the matt in everyday life than on it. Meaning as I stood in a line that said “for appointments and disabled persons” and I got to my turn and they gentleman told me I need a slip of paper from the women on the other side of the DVM and I needed to go get in that line or a green slip of paper and then come back to this line and start over, I started to see RED. Anger hot like a volcano ready to burst out of my mouth. Enter the zen from here. I had to walk down and get the slip of paper. My sweet girl confused as to all the movement and her very agitated mom. I had a choice again. I tried to enter the zen.
I laughed and explained to her at the DMV you stand in line then they tell you that you are in the wrong line and then you go get in a new line and they give you a paper and then you get in another line and they tell you that you need this or that and to go over there to a new line. We laughed. Here I was back in the original line again facing the gentleman who I had been so angry at because he was short with me and just tell me to get the slip of paper. I was humbled by his kindness toward me (now with the green paper in hand) and now he laughed at the silliness that they didn’t accept ACL on the original paperwork. I had to face my choices to allow the circumstances of the DMV disrupt my serenity.
Yoga for me is not just tree pose in the serene environment of a yoga studio when all outside distractions are limited. It’s breathing; practicing yoga in everyday life at the DMV and seeing the DMV employees at human beings first. It is seeing that my physical environment has an impact on my emotions and my breath and spirit. Was I a serene, idyllic yogi and I walked through line after line and feared Covid19 as I saw so many masks? No, but did I have awareness and lose it and gain it back again? Yes. I kept having to enter the zen from here. I had to keep resetting. I had to keep breathing. I had to keep starting over.
The 2nd Yoga Sutra is “Yoga is the stilling of the modifications of the mind,” or in Sanskrit, Yogas citta vrtti nirodha. I had a lot of “modifications of my mind” at the DMV.
What “modification of the mind” are you having? Do you have to go to the DMV? Are your worried about Covid-19? Does the upcoming election give you modifications? How can you connect to your breath? How can you enter the stilling of the mind when you are on edge and a driver cuts you off or your child won’t cooperate? How can you find stillness in the media frenzy of the coronavirus? How can you find stillness with your partner? Your kids? Your family of origin? How can you find the stillness of mind yoga offers in your everyday life?
Interested in meditating with me or having a private yoga instructor in Los Angeles? Contact me to find out more about my affordable private yoga lessons in Los Angeles and meditations sessions in Los Angeles!