Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stepping onto the mat or slipping off it

I find it can be too easy to waiver, to hesitate, to distract myself from my practice, to distract myself from myself.

I want to step on my mat but I slip right off.

I want to do my yoga practice but I let the chaos of life lead me away. I do house work, I drink a glass of wine and read a book, I go play with the kids, I write a blog, I sleep in, I go to bed, I...I...I... There is always something waiting there to replace my practice, to replace that precious time I give to myself to better understand and unify my body, mind and spirit.

My practice is me. When I slip off my mat too often, I start to loose my focus, my grounding, my equilibrium. I lose a sense of clarity in my mind. I snap at Tom. I lose patience with the kids. I get annoyed and harsh with myself. Suddenly life feels busier and more chaotic and finding my way back to my mat gets harder and harder. My body protests as well. I start to feel my back stiffen, my shoulders ache, my thighs tighten. I lose that good feeling of wellness my yoga practice gives me.

Losing my balancing in the Sarah desert Jan. 09.

Fortunately I find my way back. I resist the temptation of a distraction. I stop allowing myself to believe "I don't have the time" and I make the time. I remember that it's my choice. I set my priorities. Some days all I can manage is to just lie on my mat. But even that can be enough: time to lie still, to breathe, do nothing which is really doing everything. Other days I am off, breathing through one sun salutation after an other, standing on my head, breaking into a sweat while my heart beets quickly in the pleasure of movement.

Ideally I would practice daily, 45min to 3 hours. But I don't. I am a mother, wife, teacher, friend. I chose to have other priorities too. So I look to create a balance between me and others, between me and the demands of life, between practicing and others thing. I am human and imperfect and my balance waivers. I lose my equilibrium but I also find it again. I am constantly rebalancing myself, my lifestyle, my choices.

Finding my balance again in Boat Pose on that same patch of sand.

I keep having to remind myself that it isn't about having time, it is about making a choice with what I do with this precious gift of time life has given us.

I am grateful to yoga and what I learn, discover, come to understand through doing it. I am humbled by how often I have to re-learn the same lessons over and over again.

Peace and happiness,


  1. Dear Erinbell,
    very special web-page and blog, congratulation. We still have the best memories about our Gozo Yoga-holidays. We will come again soon.
    Big hug
    Thomas, Antje, Lillit and Selina

  2. Thanks for the inspirational reminder to make Yoga part of daily life. It's a struggle to keep it up but you're quite right, the rewards are endless!

  3. Your description about how tense you become is EXACTLY how I start to feel when I've spent too many days away from fitness. More than anything, for me it is an outlet, a way to "be" with myself and is as necessary as eating and breathing. Good post!


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