Since I started writing every weekday, my meditation practice has gotten bumped.
Which, you know, is about the worst idea ever.
But I’ve got this idea that all the “for me” things have to be done before 8 a.m.* Except running. Which I’m willing to fit in whenever–because I need people to like me, and running facilitates that. More than you might imagine.
In an effort to restart my spiritual practice, I decided I want to incorporate yoga as a moving meditation before I do sitting meditation. Because more is better, right? Really, it’s not even about more though. It’s about focus. My mind flits off in a zillion directions during meditation (totally normal. But annoying), and yoga is a way to focus that energy before I sit.
I decided I needed a more “spiritual” at home yoga practice. So, I set off in search of one (via YouTube because pandemic). And I landed on Ashtanga yoga, which felt 100% unfamiliar and super-spiritual for some reason. I fired up the video and began.
This seems like a good time to mention that I’ve been doing Yoga with Adriene for something like 6 years. Her motto: find what feels good. She’s goofy and pretty much exudes lovingkindness, even though a screen. She doesn’t take herself too seriously (I’m a Virgo. By nature, I take myself WAY too seriously), and she insists (gently) on self-love and coming to the mat just as you are.
So, I start this other yoga, the unfamiliar, not-Adriene one that I have deemed “spiritual.” And I immediately hate it. The instructor is kind of just barking out poses, which I’m trying to jam myself into. Because, even though she’s saying to listen to my body, I don’t believe her. Everything about her demeanor indicates that I am a grave disappointment if I can’t do these strange poses–some of which I’ve never seen in my life. I realize that I am projecting on this woman, but I swear she readily facilitated that projection.
I’m on minute 44, feeling less spiritual than ever, when Jane comes Kramering into the room.
“Your aren’t doing Yoga with Adriene?!?” she asks, clearly baffled by my disloyalty and, at the same time, skeptical of this rather austere woman who has replaced Adriene on the screen.
“I can do different things sometimes,” I mutter, disgruntled by both the interruption and the challenge to my new “spiritual” yoga practice. I send her back out from whence she came, still muttering internally.
I flop back down on the mat and look at this severe woman staring back at me.
What am I even doing?
Everything in the room feels weighed down. And lacking in joy. Which makes me wonder why I always think that truly spiritual things have to be so heavy. And hard.
Doing yoga with Adriene is light and airy, full of love and acceptance and the things I try to center in my life. It feels good to invite her (via a screen) into my space. And I trust her. I value her guidance and her insight and her focus on compassion and love.
Why do I think that isn’t spiritual enough?
I grabbed my laptop, climbed up onto my bed, and nestled into the pillows. I sifted through entries until I found the perfect 30 day yoga camp–with Adriene.
Because light and love are spiritual, too.
And the fact that my 9 year old has more intuitive sense than I do? Well, I’m just gonna take that as a sign I’m raising her right (that is what it means, isn’t it?!?).
*I wrote this post after 8 a.m. & the world still seems to be spinning. Amazing.