I often, well, actually, I frequently do not take my own advice. This Christmas season found me avoiding my yoga mat, skipping sleep and completely disorganized. I've missed appointments, lost my life-book (filled with yoga class lessons, article notes, recipes, knitting patterns and a haphazard calendar, that would scare you), purchased wrapping paper and promptly misplaced it, been grumpy and today, I noticed I was full of self-loathing at my un-Martha Stewart like holiday behavior.
I needed an emergency intervention.
Of course instead of heading directly to my yoga mat (like every other good yoga teacher), I decided to ramble through Facebook, call friends to complain, drink way too much coffee (extra energy, right?!), think about having a midday glass of wine (can you say dysfunctional) and then called my Dad, who is 90 and always free to yell me back to reality.
I told him I was sort of out of control and miserable. I told him about my growing to-do list and the inevitable deadline of Christmas. And he told me to just sit down and be quiet.
He is a wise old bugger, isn't he?
Of course, this advice came at 3 o'clock, right when I had to pick up the big one from school. Luckily, my Lily is a sucker for a yoga class, delights in the challenge of being silent for meditation and loves to watch my belly breathing during savasana. And as an extra bonus, the little one was napping.
Taking my Pop's advice, I sat. I was quiet. And I noticed all sorts of things. . my shoulders were scrunched up to my ears. My hips were completely unbalanced. My jaw was rigid and my eyes, even when closed, felt like they were hard at work at something (perhaps giving dirty looks). I was even holding my knees up in easy pose--a simple closed legged pose--I was resisting gravity--which is absolutely the work of a crazy person. Who am I to resist nature?
Lily told me to breathe and to do it loudly, because it makes her laugh. This loud breath--it is called Ujjayi and is performed by constricting your throat while breathing through your nose. It is loud, but it quiets the mind by drawing your focus to the smooth ocean sound. There's another wise soul, that Lily. Before I knew it, there I was sitting down and quiet.
When I felt finished, I opened my eyes. I still feel the peace and the presence, just a few minutes gave me. Those few minutes are the best Christmas gift I've received in a long time.
Go sit down and be quiet.