Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Day 232 of 365: Your Yoga is Drinking Coffee

I attended a workshop on Sunday as part of my yoga teacher training. It was all about sequencing and developing your own practice without a teacher around. The instructor went over the usual obstacles for getting yoga done at home -- time constraints, motivation, space, etc. She then told everyone that, without fail, she does a little bit of yoga every single morning, right as she wakes up. This got a few eye rolls from the room; oh yes, the yoga instructor has the motivation to do it bright and early in the morning, before she brushes her teeth. But what she said next made us all rethink things:

"Every morning, I have my cup of coffee. And that coffee is my yoga."

What she does every morning is have her cup of coffee (or tea, if she is so inclined), sits down at her table, and just...breathes. Not any special yoga breath, but regular, everyday, forget-you're-even-doing-it breath. She sips on her coffee, looks outside her window to the rising sun, and has her coffee. She does her best to keep her mind clear but, just like in yoga practice, thoughts pop up; and, just like in yoga practice, she accepts them, and sees if she can just let them drift away. Maybe she'll close her eyes from time to time. But she's not there to gulp down her coffee as she checks the news and Facebook and her emails. She's just...there.

I haven't been able to consistently do a first-thing-in-the-morning yoga routine since I quit being a teacher. I wake up stiff and achy (and all the other adjectives that prove you're just getting old) and in no mood to dance into my first down dog of the day. And, truth be told, I only ignore the muscle stiffness when I was a teacher because teaching was just that stressful and I desperately needed something to keep my head on straight. So I tried that "yoga coffee" this morning. I made my breakfast, sat down at the island in my kitchen (which is far, far away from my laptop) and just...breathed.

It didn't last as long as I would've liked: the second I finished my oatmeal, I got up with my cup of coffee and attempted to walk over to my computer. Thankfully, I had the wherewithal to hang a sharp left and get out of the kitchenette area. I walked over to the front door and looked out one of the side windows instead, which lasted about a few sips, before attempting the same thing, but my patio door. Eventually I caved and, with my mug only half-empty, sat down at my computer to do my usual "check ALL the things".

But that's okay. Instead of berating myself for falling into old habits, I'm happy that I was able to last all the way through breakfast in the first place (which, truth be told, was something I didn't even have when I was teaching). My goal is to slowly build up, the same way I slowly built up yoga in general, and see where that goes. Regardless, I love this idea. It plays into my "Yoga is exactly what you make of it and exactly what you need it to be," teacher philosophy. Or maybe, as a caffeine addict, I just really like the idea of coffee playing yet another part in my life.

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