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Friday, January 28, 2005

yoga off the mat: at home, on the go & at work

the hip tranquil chick’s practice at home, on the go, and at work

at home: her home is a refuge, a place to reconnect with her soul. she enjoys reflecting and retreating here, along with entertaining and possibly even sharing her life with loved ones: a partner, friend, and/or pet. as encouraged by virginia woolf, the hip tranquil chick knows that carving out a sacred space within her home is of great importance for her sanity and development. whether it is a cozy corner, carved out nook, or a room of her own, she finds a space to call her own. on the mat: the hip tranquil chick makes yoga an integral part of her daily routine. by carving out a space for her practice or simply having her mat nearby, she is able to take a few moments to connect within. she may begin the day with a sun salutation, rest in pigeon pose after a challenging day, or spend 10 minutes in complete quiet sitting on her mat and listening to her breath. she may be in need of a high-energy practice to bhagavan das or thievery corporation or a more sacred, slow flow to deva premal. she knows that her life is always changing, and therefore, so is her practice. her practice is a mirror for her life, and she enjoys making this connection in the comfort of her home. off the mat: whether entertaining like-minded girlfriends or spending time in quiet contemplation with her journal, the hip tranquil chick knows the importance of connecting to her yoga practice away from the mat while at home. she enjoys reflecting on her day and experiences, acknowledging lessons learned, and thinking of ways to be stronger and more flexible in the future. she also values time spent being rather than always doing and loves “accomplishing” the science of just being. if she lives with a friend or partner, she practices detachment from how she thinks things should be, knowing that everyone is different and she is wasting her time trying to change another person.

on the go: always in motion, from the market to the museum to an afternoon of retail therapy, book browsing and café writing, the hip tranquil chick seeks to connect to her yoga practice. she is continually aware that asana is not the only form of practice and tries to incorporate the more subtle aspects of yoga into her daily rounds. on the mat: although she may not be able to roll out her yoga mat in a sale-frenzied boutique, she is able to do some subtle practicing through breath work and basic bliss-producing poses. while standing in line, she can shift her weight into one leg and place the other foot at her ankle for tree pose, she can interlace her hands behind her back and lift them up to create a heart opener, or she can work with eagle and cow face arms to awaken her upper back from her retail therapy bag overload. also, as she finds tempers flaring and pulses rising due to a huge line at her local bank or grocery store, she is able to access her 3-part yogic breathing and rise above the madness. there are little things that she can do to maintain her practice while on the go and avoiding a scene. off the mat: while out and about, the hip tranquil chick takes a mindful approach to life. through encounters on busy sidewalks to interactions with store clerks and baristas, she is courteous and conscious that staying calm in the middle of chaos is a testament to her practice of yoga. how she spends her free time allows her to transfer her beliefs into action through volunteering, supporting causes close to her heart, and connecting with a community. living with integrity and treating others as she wants to be treated is her way to practice yoga away from the mat while gallivanting about town.

at work: her workplace is a continual practice challenge. she may be surrounded by various personalities, looming deadlines, office red tape, exorbitant expectations, lack of appreciation, ringing phones, endless e-mail, and incessant meetings. however, with the principles of yoga internalized, the hip tranquil chick is able to rise above office drama to find a sense of peace within the pandemonium. on the mat: within her office, she takes regular time to reconnect with her body through movement and breath awareness. (see my previous blog for an office yoga vinyasa.) if she can’t close the door and float into a headstand, she can easily practice some basic moves that will leave her feeling refreshed and alive. the basic bliss-producing poses described in sidebar three are sure to rejuvenate the hard working hip tranquil chick. off the mat: whether she is in charge of answering phones or running a fortune 500 company, she incorporates principles of yoga into her work. by being flexible when an emergency arises or being strong when she feels mistreated, she strives to live what she practices through yoga. the combination of strength and flexibility with finding her edge and protecting her boundaries are a way for her to grow authentically in her professional world. the courage it takes to practice a challenging arm balance where stability and strength are eventually found can be translated into gaining confidence to ask for a raise or share that innovative, yet controversial idea.

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