When the alarm went off at 5:20am today I decided to let it go… today was Monday and I knew I’d be going to a Kundalini Yoga class after dropping the kids off at school. I figured I deserved a little extra rest after a particularly busy week and weekend (SOCCER), so I let myself slip out of the rhythm of my personal yoga practice. I had taken the day off Sunday as well, and it led to a little communication breakdown with my husband.
You see, for me, the morning ritual of my personal yoga practice gives me some cherished alone time to clear my mind, breathe intentionally, and set the stage for the day to come. I am able to wake up my body with movement and clean out my subconscious. Sometimes, with my eyes closed, I am able to see images of a TV show or my Facebook newsfeed come up and slip away. I am figuratively cleaning out the cobwebs and like actual cobwebs, if I don’t attend to the overwhelming number of sights and sounds I encounter each moment of each day, it truly affects my emotional state and my personal interactions.
Back to this morning… things were going pretty smoothly. Husband was working on the farm while the kids and I were getting ready for school. Today a housekeeper was coming to clean the house and it was our day to bring snack at preschool. I was calmly asking the boys (over and over) to put toys away and get their shoes on. As I walked down the hall, now racing the clock, I stepped on what can only be described as a small tower of razorbladelike plastic with my bare foot. Now, I didn’t yell (phew!) but I did ask, “What the hell is this doing on the floor?” The boys came and picked up the tower of terror because they know once the housekeeper comes they’ll never be able to find their toys again, and we got out the door into the car.
My 4-year-old was sitting in his carseat looking at the book he was bringing to school when he pointed at the title and read aloud, “What the Hell.” Actual title: “Animals of Australia.” I tried to hide my giggle and explained that those aren’t nice words and we were on our way.
Aren’t kids the greatest little teachers?
Perhaps I would have seen that toy if I didn’t have my to-do list racing through my head. Perhaps I would have chosen different words upon stepping on that torturous toy.
What a wonderful reflection he was in that moment, showing me what happens when I’m not acting and speaking with mindfulness. Perhaps I would have seen that toy if I didn’t have my to-do list racing through my head. Perhaps I would have chosen different words upon stepping on that torturous toy. Perhaps all the animals of the forest would have come to my door to sing like I was in a Disney movie (not really). In any case, I knew I needed my yoga.
For anyone who hasn’t attended a Kundalini Yoga class, it could be described as holding particular postures with dynamic breath in an effort to tap into an uplifting energy inside. Using mantra, breath and movement, the practitioner can clear the mind and experience an awakening. More on that later.
As I was holding some core-rocking poses while using breath of fire, legs shaking, abs burning, face reddening, my teacher gently reminded us to recommit. Each breath was a chance to recommit, to let the breath carry us through this posture that was hard on the body but that we knew would end at some point. “Recommit. You are not your shaking legs. Let the stagnant energy release. Embrace it. Recommit. You’re almost there.”
Sometimes I’m able to feel something move and shift inside… my heartspace opening a little more as I release some emotion that was weighing me down. Other times I’m just glad when my body can release a pose and I feel the energy pulse through my limbs after working my muscles to their limits. But the sweet moment of rest and stability never lasts long, and there’s another pose coming that will offer the chance to recommit, breathe with intention, focus, and learn to relax in the midst of great effort.
The beautiful thing is that each morning, each moment, each breath is an opportunity for us to recommit to being our best selves.
The beautiful thing is that each morning, each moment, each breath is an opportunity for us to recommit to being our best selves. We don’t have to wait for a new year, new moon, new week, new job, new haircut…. Each moment offers us a chance to take a full, intentional breath and restart with clearer vision. Although that vision will doubtlessly become clouded again, one precious breath can offer us a fresh start.
So today, I am recommitting to:
- My sadhana (daily practice)
- Loving more
What are you recommitting to? Feel free to share in the comments, and thanks for reading.