If you feel like not doing exercise today, do meditation. If you feel like not meditating today, do pranayama. Or just sing for the Lord. There are so many kinds of yoga; bhakti yoga, jnana yoga, kundalini yoga. Do little, very little, but every day. That is better than spending three hours one day and then spending three or four days without doing anything. So just do two minutes, but every day. Then you will succeed.
Sri Dharma Mittra
Since I have poured myself back into my work, I have been too busy to teach, and too scared to do the last 30 days of the Dharma personal practice for my 500-hour certification. I need my two cups of fresh ground, French-pressed coffee in the morning followed by a steady stream of green tea to get me through the day. Salt, onions, and garlic are my friends. Daily meditation is a really important practice, but for the life of me I can’t figure out how to incorporate it into my new schedule.
This struggle is not new to me. It took me over 15 years of wanting to start a home practice before I actually did anything about it. And when I started my home practice three years ago, I didn’t do it every day. I tried to, but life just always seemed to get in the way. And that’s okay. Part of the practice is learning that there are many ways to practice yoga.
Yoga is not just about what you do on your mat. It’s about everything you do to come back to it. It’s in the remembering. It’s the waking up first thing in the morning and thanking God that you are alive. It’s the singing a few lines of Sita Ram while doing the dishes. It’s saying the purification mantra over and over again in your head while sitting on the metro or bus or in a crowded room. It’s the mantra japa of your mala beads while standing in line at the grocery store.
These interstitial moments count. They are bigger than the sum of their parts and they add up to a lot. In this busy householder world most of us live in, you have to get creative with your time. I listen to Dharma’s Om Mantra in the car on my way to work while doing my pranayama and bija mantras. I keep the Yoga Sutras open on a bookstand in my bedroom so that every time I walk by I can read a line or two. I carry The Bhagavad Gita in my purse. I fill my Facebook feed with Ram Dass, Swami Sivananda, and everything Dharma so that even in my recreation I am remembering.
Gradually your practice builds. When I first started my home practice, sometimes sitting in butterfly pose or doing a forward bend was all I could manage. Now it is a rare day that I don’t do my asana practice. I usually throw my mat down while dinner is cooking on the stove. The kids might be going nuts around me or I might have to get up and stir something in a pot, but this is my practice for now. And that’s okay, mama. I can do my asana practice in 10 minutes or 110 minutes. It doesn’t matter how long your practice is, or what’s going on around you. What matters is that you do it, just a little every day and be kind to yourself. It will all happen in its own time when you are ready.