My partner and I both place huge value on maintaining a daily practice. His involves an ideally chilly 7am hike which includes literally jumping and flailing around (generally making an endearing fool of himself), yoga, and meditation up on our favorite extinct volcano. Mine generally involves peeling myself out of bed at 5:30 in the a.m. to stay warm inside and work on asana, meditation, and weight lifting.
We’ve each had our own practices for a long, long time and what interests me most is how we choose when to skip the daily-ness of our practices. Balancing the needs of our relationship or the temporary needs of crisis or house guests with the “regiment” of our practices is a frequent topic in our house.
Some would say no one can balance the needs of daily life without keeping our practices sacred and protected (i.e. uninterrupted) and there are times when I agree with that. But I also think that blind adherence to a practice is potentially damaging, or at least not particularly desirable.
I am not a monk, I am a householder and a kriya yogi. Learning how to be a devout practitioner who also fully participates in the daily life of the world IS my practice. All yoga paths are difficult and I think it can be such a beautiful practice to continually work on the tension of “practicing” vs. “living” – to find out where they are the same and where they are not.
- Isabel Spradlin is a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and abdominal adhesion specialist in Portland, OR. She specializes in educating people about manual treatment (massage) for abdominal pain and dysfunction, especially when it is adhesion related. Please see the "Programs" page to see her offerings.
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4 thoughts on “Daily Practice”
I like your approach, Isabel. Life is constant change, and I personally think that adhering rigidly to a practice no matter what, even though doing so affirms that practice, can sometimes be a rejection of life.
Constant change, indeed! I do really wrestle a lot with weighing the importance of a true, deep discipline (not the punitive kind, but the kind that sets healthy boundaries so that we can move deeper into our work) and the constantly changing demands of life. It’s tricky business, I think. Thanks so much for your comment!
Hi Isabel, I love your posts, especially about shifting your massage business to a yoga business. There was no “reply” on that page, so I thought I’d reply here.
Yay for you! You have the courage to do what you love! Good luck!
I hurt my hand and was left with the decision to keep massaging or try something else. An incredible acupuncturist healed my hand and I didn’t have to decide. Just standing in the space of possibility was enough to feel the sadness, excitement, worry, curiousness, “lets GO!”, this is great, this is awful all in one minute.
I cheer for you and your transition!
Thanks so much! Can’t wait to take a look at your blog, too. 🙂