I.am.yoga: Falling off the mat

July 16, 2013 at 11:28 AM


by Claire Lukens

Summers are often pretty crazy for me. My work life ramps up in intensity, though I always seem to forget this until I’m in the middle of it, feeling over-committed and frazzled. After several hard months of feeling unmotivated at work, I am reveling in some new-found inspiration, and making the most of it by throwing myself into my work whole-heartedly. That feels really good.

 It also means my focus has shifted away from other things that give me joy, like my yoga practice. I have been practicing very little over the last couple of months. Every time I teach a class, I leave the studio a little wistfully, thinking “I should come to a class this week”. But then life intervenes, and I don’t make it to class. And yes, I miss my practice. But I also know that it will be there for me when I am ready to come back to it. I don’t feel guilty or neglectful. That is my yoga right now – to simply do what I need to do, to focus my energy where it needs to go, and above all, to not feel guilty about it.

There are always things I should be doing, whether for work, family, fitness goals, you name it. I don’t want my yoga (or the lack thereof) to be something that makes me feel guilty or anxious. And it doesn’t, because it’s bigger than my time in the studio. My practice lies in finding time for myself in the midst of a crazy day, even if only for a few minutes. My practice is treating myself with kindness, and giving myself permission to be who I am, where I am, how I am.

As a wise yogi once said, “yoga is about showing up for yourself”. I will continue to practice yoga, whether or not that practice involves a mat.  I will bring my mat with me when I travel, and not feel guilty if I don’t use it. And I will find my way back to the mat when I need my asana practice again. I will continue to show up for myself, whatever form that may take.

I am yoga.