How Your Job Can Make You Better At Yoga
Last week I published a blog post titled "How Yoga Can Make You Better At Your Job". If you missed it, start there by clicking here...
Most of what I wrote is pretty intuitive: the concept of a mindfulness practice like yoga helping with stressful situations like a busy job is one we see out there in the world on a daily basis these days (and thank goodness for that!).
But I think the flip side of this same concept is one that you don't see out there in the world as much. That having a job will make you better at yoga. Well, at least I believe it has for me.
Limited Time Means Better Focus
If you need something done, give it to a busy person right? When your life is full, and the only time you are going to get on your mat that day, or maybe that week, is right now, you truly savour that time. Having a non-yoga job creates the gentle pressure (or sometimes not so gentle!) to seize the moment and to enjoy it. Because you know it is going to be fleeting, that it's rare and special and that you cannot take it for granted.
If this is the only chance I am going to get to practice trikonasana or pincha mayurasana or savasana all day, you know I am going to be 100% in that moment.
Need For The Practice Means Commitment To The Practice
But that busy person is often the one that needs yoga the most.
Because I spend so much of my time running around like crazy, working like a maniac, and generally adding more things to do the to-do list than I remove (hello blogging!), it can be easy for me to wind myself up tight tight tight. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Yoga is my outlet for undoing so much of that tension, and has quite literally helped me survive some of the toughest moments of my life. I know it works. I know I need it. And it is that need that makes it very easy to keep showing up every day.
If I was already Miss Zen, all strong and bendy and totally chilled out, where would the drive for this practice come from?!
Choice Not Obligation
How many yoga teachers out there start teaching and give up on their own practice? I think the answer is sadly a lot. Because a passion that becomes a job can often too become a chore. Not only am I grateful that I get to come to my mat just for me, but I think that reality brings out the best in me. The pressure of having to make money out of your practice isn't one that everyone will thrive under.
Taking Lessons Off The Mat
We all love the pretty pictures and fancy leggings and toned abs. Of course we do. But we learn through regular practice that there is more to yoga than all of this. Be it connection, with ourselves, with others. Or patience, or kindness, or conquering of fears. Or non-attachment, or the dangers of ego, or the terror of loss. And life off the mat or out of the studio is so different for most of us, that we get more opportunities than those living in the yoga bubble to put these lessons into practice.
It's easy to be kind and sweet and thoughtful when people are only kind and and sweet and thoughtful to you. But can you practice ahimsa (non-violence) when the taxi driver nearly runs you over even though you are in the bike lane? Can you be patient when that client is being totally unreasonable, again? Can you practice non-attachment when you didn't get the promotion you were expecting?
Yoga gives me the opportunity to learn these skills in a quiet and controlled manner. Real life, especially my job, gives me the chance to practice them, again and again, when the stakes are a lot higher.
And that is what makes me a better yogi. Not the handstand or the backbend, but the way I treat myself and the way I treat the people around me.