Sunday, January 09, 2011

Here's a recent note I wrote for the LA YOGA newsletter. Something this morning made me think about it again, so I thought I'd post it to this blog. Whether we're in class, or pouring coffee or serving tea, how are we practicing Yoga?

You don’t have to be a Yoga teacher, in a studio, with a mat, to really teach Yoga or to embody the practice. I was reminded of this recently when out to breakfast at one of my usual haunts, where I typically meet a girlfriend for spicy cinnamon tea and the early bird special. We always have the same waitress. She always remembers what we order and she’s invariably cheery. Not cheery in that dripping with saccharine sticky-sweet, you need a wet washcloth after she talks to you kind of way. But cheery in that redhead early shift here we are, we might as well have fun with it sort of morning tone. I can see her slouching with a cup of coffee, a cupcake, a tilt to her eyebrow, wisecracking.

I don’t know if she practices Yoga formally; I’ve never asked. But I notice, in every morning interaction, the practice embodied.

Christen and I inevitably smile when she comes to our table, takes our order, jokes with us, moves on and repeats. It’s a simple interaction that’s meaningful in its simplicity and sincerity. She’s present, focused, ready with a quip and a smile. And therefore, so are we.

After all, Yoga is the union, it’s the relationship. It’s the interaction that we have with our own breath, our own bodies, and by extension, with everyone in our spheres of influence and interconnection throughout the day.
We can practice Yoga throughout the day, no matter our profession. Whether we’re tending bar, writing computer code, composing music, teaching kids, pumping gas, taking breakfast orders  and so on (you get the idea). And in these interactions, in being present, in the action of practice, with or without a mat, the impact is profound.