Yoga Practice

Practicing yoga intentionally, effectively and efficiently


Taking selfies with my poor sick kiddo, who was also teething.

For an entire week, Bear Shark was home sick with fever and snot. The kid was so miserable. I spent almost all of my time soothing him, nursing him, wiping his nose, washing his hands (covered in snot), changing his clothes, disinfecting surfaces and rocking him to sleep when he couldn’t get himself settled down for naps. I didn’t make it into the studio except for one class, when my husband grabbed Bear Shark for me during his lunch hour.

I was talking with my teacher training teachers (does that make them our gurus?) about my week and how I tried to get on my mat during his naps. I had a hard time finding a rhythm since he may only nap 30 minutes or he could sleep for 2 hours. I found myself distracted, expecting to hear his coughs or cries at any given moment. As I played with some sequencing, I was off balance and falling all over myself. Not once did I actually feel present. I was moving my body, but my mind was elsewhere.

Jenn, who is also a mother, advised me to get grounded first. Clear the mental distractions and find my legs firmly rooted so I can connect with the earth and calm the nervous system. This act of grounding helps me come inward instead of letting my energy continue to radiate out and bounce all around the house as my body and mind were doing all day. Then, every pose that I do should be intentional. Make the breath count. Make each movement count. Instead of quantity of poses, it was about the quality of poses.

She talked about being efficient in a time limited practice. Usually when I hear the word efficiency, I think of cramming a lot into a little bit of time. For example, if I only have 15 minutes at the grocery store, I’m running through it Supermarket Sweep style, trying to do a full grocery run that would normally be saved for a leisurely weekend. I come home sweaty and frazzled and cursing myself for forgetting the ONE thing that I absolutely needed. Instead, could I have gone in for that one item and left, saving the bigger grocery run for when there was more time?

Putting that in terms of a yoga practice, 20 minutes of thoughtful, intentional, PURPOSEFUL asanas is way more effective than rushing through a 60 minute practice in the same time span. That might mean I only do 7 poses – slowly and meaningfully – and call it a day.

Intentional. Efficient. Effective. This is going to be my M.O. for all home practice moving forward, sick kids or not. Yeah. I’m digging that.

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