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.