Kindle Reads – “Living Your Yoga” – Part 1a

6 Jan

Image Source: Lady Tori

One of my Goals for 2012 was to read more and one of the books on my must read list was Living Your Yoga – Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life by Judith Lasater. It came recommended by Kim over at Forty is (the new) Fabulous and I was intrigued. Now I’m no spiritual guru nor do I tend to be “hippie-ish” in any way, but I thought that there was no harm in learning more about finding more peace and calm in my everyday life. I’ve also been loving me some yoga lately so I thought it was the perfect time to incorporate whatever the author had to share.  I’ve tried reading “enlightenment” books like A New Earth and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle only to get bogged down in the heavy verbiage. Lucky for me, that is NOT the case with Living Your Yoga.

The book is separated into three parts:

Part 1 – “Awakening Awareness: Yoga within Yourself”
Part 2 – “Widening the Circle: Yoga and Relationships”
Part 3 – “Embracing All  Life: Yoga in the World”

Within each part are seven qualities that the author believes should be nurtured within our everyday lives. The author uses personal stories and quotes from ancient spiratual writings to explain the importance of each quality and how each person can cultivate it. She suggests some yoga practices both in the form of poses and Daily Mantra meditations that can help each person focus on enhancing that particular area of their life.

Currently, I have just finished Part 1and wanted to do a download of the practices that I learned and how I can apply them to my everyday life. The sections are short so they are easily reread so that I can get the full understanding of what is being said! I’m a dork, what can I say! 🙂

Here’s the first four qualities:

Spiritual Seeking – Abiding Practice

This section taught that the answers we seek are within each of us and the only way to find them is to develop full awareness of our lives be it in our thoughts, words and actions. This practice requires centering and focusing on the breath and living in the present moment (something I’m sure we all could do more of!). This is much like what you would do at the beginning and end of each yoga practice, but Judith encourages  to do it at any time of the day. There’s no objective to the practice other than to fully experience your own life, free of any distractions.  The place where I have found abiding practice to be the most soothing and calming is in a hot shower when I can clear my mind of the stresses of the day. My favorite mantra from this section is “I commit to living my life fully in this moment.”

Discipline Practice

This section taught that discipline has less to do with the amount of things you can accomplish in a day and more to do with intention and commitment. It says that “yoga , or that state in which fluctuations (or agitations) of the mind are resolved, can be achieved by practice (or discipline) and detachment (or letting go, described in the next section)”. Now discipline as used here is not “Go to the corner in time out!” or “Sorry can’t have that cause you were bad girl!”. Discipline here is resolving to do something with intention (be it reading a book, eating dinner, practicing piano) and  fully immersing yourself in the moment of whatever action you are doing.  I’ve been trying to be disciplined while reading this book. Clearing my mind and fully focusing on the words on the page and their meaning to my life. My favorite mantra from this section is “Discipline is quality, not quantity”.

Letting Go Practice

This section was one that really spoke to me. One that I think I need to embrace whole heartedly. It was mentioned to me before by a co-worked that I need to detach myself from the outcome of a situation (particularly the one of my not getting pregnant). I was a little offended because really isn’t the outcome EVERYTHING?? But, in Living Your Yoga, this message was explained yet again and I think this time I understand (although I’ve been struggling with putting it into practice!). Being detached is NOT being uninterested, it is the act of just living your life and remaining present even with all the crap that is going on around you. I need to give up my attachment to the way I think things should be so that I may be able to experience another perspective. The attachment then loses power over my life. I’m have a GREAT  life with or without a baby. I’m healthy, The Hubs is healthy, we’re financially stable, and life is pretty darn good. Acceptance is key. My favorite mantra from this section is “This is the perfect moment to let go.”

Self Judgement Practice

This section starts out with a quote from the Yoga Sutra (2:46)  which translated says “The posture should be steady and comfortable.” When I read this, I immediately thought of tree pose. This is one pose that I sometimes for the life of me can’t do. I can’t find my balance and am wobbling all around (definitely not steady and comfortable!) and then I proceed to judge myself for not being able to do something that in my head should be simple. But other times, when I’m not thinking so hard, I can balance for quite a while relishing in my strength and balance. One thing I realized I need to remember is that there is a difference from honestly admitting that you may not have done your best and self judgement. Self judgement is drawing a conclusion about how you performed in a situation. It is giving in to the negative self-talk. To speak to yourself softly and compassionately is to live in a comfortable way both internally and in the world.  Living fully there is no space for self-judgement.  There will always be difficulties in life, but my attitude and inner dialogue to these events CAN change! My favorite mantra from this section – “I am attempting something difficult, and I appreciate myself for trying.”

I’ll finish up the rest of Part 1 another day! Don’t want to get too heavy on a Friday, but have found writing this so helpful (especially after a rough day)! Hopefully it speaks to some of you, as well!

Do you practice any of these qualities in your daily life?

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3 Responses to “Kindle Reads – “Living Your Yoga” – Part 1a”

  1. Tonya January 7, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    Sounds like a good book. I think we can all use a little practice detaching from the outcome!

    • Jen January 9, 2012 at 8:25 am #

      So far I’m really enjoying it. The thing I need to do now is actively try to put the things I am learning to practice. Definitely the hardest part, but doable!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Kindle Reads – “Living Your Yoga” – Part 1b « Living a Brighter Life - January 18, 2012

    […] You can find the introduction to this series of posts here. […]

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