I’m currently in a yoga teacher training here in Israel and am challenged with learning anatomy in a second language that I’m not that fluent in. But yesterday our teacher, Yael Ziv, read a description of the suggested daily routine of a yogi according to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Wow is all I can say. When I think of that daily schedule, learning anatomy in Hebrew seems like a piece of cake!
Our homework for the week was to consider how we can incorporate these guidelines into our modern yogic lifestyle, so I thought I would share my thoughts here on Notes on Yoga.
I won’t reiterate the suggested daily routine, as it isn’t suited for most of us in the modern world. Suffice it to say that it involved getting up early (either 4 am or 6 am) and devoting the entire day to yoga, meditation, and spiritual practices. Since most of us work, have children, families, and other responsibilities, it’s not possible to spend all day every day in our yoga practice.
But what is possible?
How We Greet the Day
Consider how we wake up in the morning. Our initial thoughts and actions greatly influence our day. Wake up on the wrong side of the bed and have a bad day all day long, right?!
But if we can consciously direct our thoughts upon waking toward thankfulness, prayer, and uplifting thoughts, it will help shape our day for good.
First Things First
Do we grab a cup of coffee and head to the computer to check our email or perhaps start twittering away on Twitter? Or do we spend some time on our yoga mats?
We all know — including me — which makes for a more fruitful day, so that’s a worthy goal to obtain: Yoga first, then the computer!
Connecting to Something Bigger
You know, like God or Spirit or Universal Consciousness. Whatever you call it, it’s there waiting for us to establish a connection. So investing in spiritual activities that nourish us and our spiritual connection will help keep us on the path to wholeness and light.
Chanting, prayer, reading inspirational books, silence, and meditation are a few of the avenues to explore.
Being Present and Mindful
We may not be able to spend all day in quite meditation and yoga practice, but we can take our mindfulness on the mat into our daily lives. Being fully present in our work and daily activities, in our relationships, is probably the most valid form of spiritual practice that exists. That really is where the rubber hits the road — who are we in our daily lives. If our yogic approach ends when we step off the mats, we’ve not journeyed very far!
How We Eat
We probably need to eat a little more than those yogis who live on a handful of nuts, grains, and ghee, but we can bring awareness and gratitude into our eating habits. Slow down and be mindful of what we are eating, take the time to express gratitude for the food and it’s nourishing qualities, and eat healthy, fresh, nourishing foods.
Modern Day Yogi
I don’t know about you, but I’ve challenged myself with what seems like really easy things to incorporate into my daily life. Change is hard but it starts with the desire to change.
So, if you don’t have the perfect daily yogic routine yet established in your life, perhaps choose one or two of the above recommendations and start working them into your day.
I’m going for how I greet the day and how I eat. How about you?