This article was written by our beautiful friend Mary Mann. While you may have already formed some opinions on Mary based on this title, let me just say that this is quite possibly the most positive and joyful woman I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Having just returned from a stint in Thailand, Mary is now looking for a new job and is in a place of tranistion, which can be both beautiful and also terrifying. Anyhow, read on, and thank you Mary for your contribution!
What I continue to learn, daily, is that yoga is not contained in asana. Yoga is, or should be, part of everything we do. Which is great, until you find yourself slumped down on the couch, spine in an inelegant c-curve, eating blueberry pie with cheese and watching “Jersey Shore.” Not that that’s happened to me. I mean, not in the last ½ hour, anyway.
Trying to live my practice should be, I feel, a source of great joy. And most often, it is. Living yoga – which to me means living mindfully, with my mind and body in the same place – is an incredibly beautiful practice. Eating mindfully, for example, by taking stock of the flavors on your tongue and textures in your mouth, can be downright sensual. And that (obviously) brings me to mindful sex (especially sex using the energetic elements of tantra), which is just, for lack of a better word, awesome.
But shit, I can’t be eating great food and having great sex all the time. I am currently, after a stint of traveling, jobless and homeless, and therefore the world is a big stress-ball. The days are full of long hours staring at computer screens, mornings in line at the Verizon store, and hot afternoons spent walking from job interview to job interview in a suit that chafes in the crotch and pumps that give me blisters.
These are the intervals in life where I find my high-minded “life of yoga” in tatters. I limp home, exhausted, and yes, crash out. In goes that over watched Bridget Jones’ Diary DVD and out comes the pint of Ben & Jerry’s peach cobbler ice cream. I get into comfy clothes, which, unfortunately, are my Lululemon groove crop pants. Yoga pants. And here’s the guilt, swooping in to wreck what could have been a soothing evening with Renee Zellweger. Now I just feel dirty, and not in the good way.
The other day, feeling more angst-ridden then usual about this lapse in my practice, I emailed my mom. My mom is, well, she’s the bomb. She is very dedicated to her yoga practice, and is a Reiki master to boot. Because she has also battled anxiety throughout her life, she is an excellent source of advice for my own moments of sheer crazy.
Her email response is proof of why the world needs moms:
” There is no right or wrong in the trivialities of every day life (that is most everything, as our supreme goal is peace/ mental health). Drop the judgment of right and wrong and, most importantly, endorse (mental pat on the back) for every effort…not just for outcome. This time of your life may seem distressing, but is not dangerous.”
I can’t say it any better than that. So today I am going to reward my efforts and gladly curl up in my groove crops (which are, after all, the comfiest pants I own). I am going to eat a slice of this fantastic blueberry pie, and (in honor of her wise words) watch this YouTube video of my mom’s interpretive dance troupe in Missouri. Then, I might watch some Sex & The City. And I am not going to feel guilty about it, not one bit.