“I am too busy to….” is probably the most common beginning to a sentence that I have heard in any adult conversation. It is also a reality that I understand all too well. I have three jobs, three children, four cats and a wedding to plan. To say my life is busy is an understatement but to be honest, I love it. I love motion and perpetual change. I also realize that my level of activity isn’t that different from anyone else.
In all the movement of life, I often come back and remind myself of the yogic concept of Aparigraha; non-grasping, non-greediness, non-possessive, otherwise known as Simplicity.
Simplicity often seems like some imaginary idea but it can be easy to accomplish. When I am feeling too busy or overwhelmed I ask: What can I let go of? What is crucial to myself and those that are important in my life? What are the “extras”?
When we examine our to-do lists, and take away the “shoulds”, the guilt and the expectations, we get down to the bare bones of what we actually need to do.
Simplifying can sometimes mean removing the past and the future from your equation. If my head is spinning, I ask myself, “What can I do about it in this moment?”. If the answer is nothing then there is no point in worrying about it. As quote goes, “Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery, but Today is a Gift. That is why it is called the Present.”
It is my experience that what I live on my mat, I live off my mat. Just like in life, it is great to challenge myself in my personal practice, but when I am trying to simplify and get back to basics, I always surrender in Balasana, or Child’s Pose.
There are many benefits to this seemingly simple pose. First, it is the fetal position, which for many people, always feels like coming home. It is both active and passive in nature. I love feeling the air move through the back of my body as I inhale, spreading through my lungs, expanding my ribs and opening up toward my hips. This expansion reminds me of my capacity, and my capability to carry great weight; I can achieve anything.
When I exhale, I love how my attention draws to the movement of the breath, as my belly sinks further into my knees, the compression of my organs draws my awareness to my vitality. As the end of the breath leaves my body, I can feel my heart beat against my knees and I am reminded of the bliss of life. If I feel angry or irritable, I move my knees to be far apart, toward the edges of my mat and allow my belly to dip down, helping to release the built up heat and fire within. With my arms by my sides, my shoulders soften, letting go of my burdens and my forehead on the ground reminds me to be humble.
When I invite Simplicity into my life, I find that I create space. It allows me the time to dedicate the attention to the things that are really important to me. Sometimes, it can seem like a light at the end of a very long tunnel. Once you make it part of your practice it becomes a priority and you can quickly feel when things become complicated again. It is always easy to come back to though. As Monaji would say “Right Foot, Left Foot, Inhale, Exhale”; One breath at a time.
I center my life around unconditional loving kindness and compassion for all beings. I bring these aspects and share my passion with others as a Hatha Yoga teacher and student, a practicing Buddhist, a devout vegan, and loving mother. I am also a long distance runner, a published poet, and a travelling gypsy when the time allows. I am a student of life, with a healthy thirst for knowledge and I enjoy learning and growing with every step.
I am a very anatomical based Hatha teacher with a core belief of Ahimsa: non-violence and non-harming, especially when dealing with ourselves. I have a pursuit of the many facets of Yoga including traditional philosophy, kriya, meditation, pranayama, as well as an asana practice. I believe that every person can find self-success if they are willing. Anyone can be taught a skill but you can’t teach will.