Yoga in the Everyday

Adjusting Your Sails

For the longest time I have been searching for the right way to parent.  In regard to any issue  – whether that’s nutrition, potty training or cultivating pro-social behaviors.  I often feel anxious about finding the “right” course of action and being consistent with it.  I’m learning that this is a bit of a farce.  To assume that such clarity is possible is to try to place the enormous, dynamic movement of life into a box the size of my hand.  Every day I am different, my daughter is different, the influences of the world and universe around us are changing.  The question is not “can I find the ‘key’ to parenting, but rather can I stay afloat amidst this sea of ever-changing reality?In asana practice I can also assume that there is a “right” way to perform a posture.  I can spend a great deal of time researching and analyzing in an attempt to discover this.  But ultimately the same is true in yoga practice as it is in parenting.  Every day my body, heart, mind and soul are influenced by forces seen and unseen.   Can I move closer to these forces?  Not to control them, but to know them so that I may adjust my sails (and my posture) according what I come to know?Some days forward bends are easeful and vibratory for me.  Other days there is a slight pulling of my right hamstring that causes discomfort.  Sometimes I respond to this mentally and emotionally with calm reflection, sometimes I’m reactionary and resistant. Some force has affected me on either of these days and created a novel experience.  If every day I approach this novel experience with outdate forms of asana how can evolution occur?  Nothing can transform if I treat myself the same today as I did yesterday.  The best I can do is try an asana based on what I’ve known previously, then adjust myself to the new information I’ve gleaned from connection to the present moment.  And then adjust.  I adjust based on my intention for the practice – is my pracitice dedicated to spaciousness?  Relaxation?  Energy flow?  This is also always in flux.The same is with parenting.  I am guided by the intention that I hope to channel Rowan toward balance, independence and depth.  But, I’m not in control of that.  The best I can do is flow, with the changing nature of our days, in a particular direction – the best I can perceive it.  One day this may mean spending a great deal of time with her, cuddling, playing and interacting.  The next day this may mean shipping her off to day care or gramma’s to interact with others.  Same intention, different actions to realize it based on the most sensitivity I can muster.   One day a forward bend means deep extension in the muscles, the next day I sense the need for greater space in the knee joint or low back.  Same forward bend, but yet, altogether different.Where is your practice taking you today?  Can you meet the newness of each posture and know yourself better through it?