Tracey L. Kelley
A Brief Bit of Time as a Lazy Yogi
Updated: Apr 27, 2020
Whenever I go on vacation, my travel mat comes with me, always with the best intentions. And, as a bonus to the member students, I send them personal sequences, based on what I've observed in their practices, to try at home while the studio is closed. When we gather together again after a week or so, it's always interesting to share stories about how--and if--we practiced.
Sometimes, I have a chance to practice about 4-5 days a week in some fashion over the course of 7-10...other times, like on a recent road trip, my best yoga happened when I stretched while stopping for gas and practiced breathing techniques during rush hour traffic. I wasn't always able to unfurl the mat due to time or space constraints, so I didn't worry about it.
Students also have interesting tales about 1) if they used their suggested sequences and what happened 2) if they blew them off entirely and just did whatever is usually part of their home practices or 3) why they didn't practice at all. The last one is usually accompanied by not making eye contact with me. And, in the last week in Iowa, I think corn dogs and funnel cakes were co-conspirators in the non-practice. Lazy yogi alert! Here's the thing: a break from regular practice is often good for you. I'll probably be kicked out of the Yoga Alliance and sneered at by other teachers for saying such a thing, but it is. Discipline and consistency in yoga is vital to your wellbeing, but if you take a break for a bit, the earth won't tilt on its axis. Your body will remember. Your breath will return. You've created a beneficial pattern of behavior that's easy to regain, as long as you don't let weeks and weeks go by. More importantly, a short break informs as to why you want and need your regular practice. You've created such a state of awareness in your daily life that without your routine, things start to feel a bit off. You begin to welcome the opportunity to return to that special point of access to your natural self. So chill out if you must, but maintain a sense of consciousness that returning to your practice isn't a duty, chore, or obligation: it's part of who you are. And that goodness is worth exploring as often as possible. Even at a freeway rest stop.