I work in two very different jobs, one in the office of a successful healthcare business, and one as a yoga teacher. My professional time is spent to an equal amount between those two very different worlds, so I have the experience of noticing the contrast between both of them quite often. One of the most rewarding things has been seeing the similarities in both settings and the way everything interconnects, even in those two varying environments.
A few months ago I was listening to a recorded interview with Judith Lassiter, the renowned yoga teacher and physical therapist. It was so interesting, when talking about yoga she said she did not feel a difference between when she was “doing” yoga and when she was not. It was all the same to her. At first, I thought this sounded like a fluffy, vague comment. But then she elaborated:
"(Yoga) Practice and living can start to converge over time. When walking, I'll think, 'How's my breath? Am I present? Am I being kind to those I make contact with?' Your body is always in a position. What makes it an "asana" or not is, are you aware?"
And it made sense to me. The word Yoga means “Yoke” or “Union.” It has to do with being in the flow with whatever you are doing, even if it’s the dishes.
A few days later I was at a company luncheon, and ended up talking for a while with one of the higher-up managers, who helped interview me for my job and whose desk is right around the corner from mine. This man has always struck me as a motivated, no-nonsense kind of guy. He works hard and certainly has the drive to do what he does and find better ways to do it continuously. He also seems quite healthy and content. We got chatting about distance running, and when I asked him if he did any races, he said he wasn’t very interested in them because running was already something that he did regularly and he felt no need to compete, compare himself with others, keep time during his runs, or worry about how far he was running. He actually said “Running is just part of me. It’s part of my life. It’s something I do because I like the way it makes me feel and…it’s just who I am.” I immediately noticed the resemblance to Judith Lassiter’s words and thought, “Now that’s yoga”. What he described is the kind of focus I strive for in my own yoga practice, the kind of focus I try to instill in my yoga class participants. After thinking this experience over, I’m reminded again how varied the methods are to get into that lucid mental state in which rest and rejuvenation take place so a person can get back to their goals and see the big picture. There are different names to this state, but I’m calling it “yoga” here.
When have you been in your version of “yoga,” when you are completely aware of your inner thoughts, in tune with your body, and at ease with your surroundings? What do you do to reach a place in your mind when all the little clutter thoughts have been cleared out so that the BIG thoughts come in?
Share your experiences below.