“The bad news is, time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler
Mondays are not my best day. Work seems to multiply and time accelerates on Mondays. I sit at my desk at 8:00AM and the next time I look up it’s always 2:30 and I wonder how I missed lunch and why there’s still so much work to do. I know I’m not alone. Everyone is catching up on Mondays. Phone calls pile up, the mail explodes, and anything that can break down will break down over the weekend, creating a mad scramble for the attention of service people on Monday morning. And so, I admit, one recent Monday, I was cranky. A phone call to my husband ended in a verbal volley over who was having the most challenging morning. I let him think he won.
Something else happens for me on Monday. I have the honor of teaching beach yoga on Monday nights. And when I say ‘Honor” I mean it full-heartedly. Sometimes it’s the promise of knowing I get to step out on the beach and share sun salutations and stillness with other yogis that gets me through the day. No matter how my Monday fast-forwards, I know that I get to slow down at 5:30. I give myself permission to stop everything else and connect to the mat. It is a true reward.
So on this particular Monday, when I was feeling harried and grouchy, I decided to really slow everything down. I thought I’d incorporate a bit of yin into my yoga class. Maybe we’d spend some extra time on the breath and incorporate some meditation. I packed up my gear and headed to the beach with one eye on the northern sky and one ear to the rumble of distant thunder. When I reached the beach I took one look to the north and saw this gray goliath of a cloud. I waited on a bench, contemplating the cloud and watching the beach-goers scrambling to fold umbrellas and beach chairs in anticipation of the cloud’s arrival. With 2 minutes to go before the start of class I had no students; no surprise under this menacing sky, when a mother and daughter walked up with yoga mats tucked under their arms.
I explained to these brave yoginis that I wanted to practice a bit of “yin” yoga and they were open to the idea. Yin yoga incorporates fewer poses, but requires longer holds. You truly s l o w things down and have more time to marinate. That is, tune in to the sensations in your body and the thoughts in your head, allowing them to meld together until the purest and best presents itself. So, on this particularly manic Monday, with the blackest of all clouds hanging over our heads, we elongated in dragon pose and stewed in half-pigeon. And somehow, over the next 60 minutes I completely forgot about the work still piled on my desk. The dark ceiling of clouds rolled away, and clarity was ours.
This is yoga. This is the power of tapping in to what already and always exists within us. It starts with getting on the mat and taking a full breath. No matter what precedes your mat time, no matter what looms over your head as you practice, the stillness and focus are available. If only we give ourselves permission to slow down long enough for the peace to rise up.
Laurie Kasperbauer is an active Florida Realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. Laurie also enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes.