With the recent shift in the weather, I’ve taken my workouts indoors. Truth be told, I hate the cold. Plus, I like giving my body a break from running. Even though the title of the blog is “Love Yoga and Running,” in the winter months, there’s a lot more yoga going on.
Recently however, I’ve found that my personal preferences, finances and schedule really don’t permit me to take a lot of group classes. So, I’ve started practicing at home. Now that may sound great and convenient, but truth be told it can be challenging at times. You first have to find a good spot in your home. For me, it’s right by the front door. Where there’s a big draft. Enough said. ( I pull out a little space heater) Then there’s the challenge of trying to stay focused on your practice when the phone rings, you look and see dust under the couch, you realize your block is in the car, you remember you wanted to put that laundry in the dryer and then, lest I forget, your dog is wandering around you excitedly because she loves yoga! Needless to say, it takes even the most dedicated yogi to be able to maintain focus under these conditions.
So, I’ve found I just connect to what I can do. Maybe it’s not the most strenuous workout. Maybe it’s not the most difficult practice. Maybe I’m not being pushed to deeper places as I might be in a group class where the heat and the group experience can take you further than you can sometimes go on your own. But you know what? So what. I’m doing it. And quite honestly, that’s all that matters.
Make no mistake about it; the concentration and focus you practice on your mat will carry well to lots of situations. Work is the first one that comes to mind. Most of us work in places where there’s a lot of activity. You can’t always close your door or move to a conference room to do your job. So, you need to be able to call on something deeper that allows you to focus. Running or any other kind of athletic endeavor requires tremendous focus on the task at hand. Working on a project, writing, reading, thinking and planning for your future; these things all require a single-mindedness and dedication, oftentimes despite what else is going on around you.
So as you practice your poses, remember: there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.