THE PRACTICE

So many of my students tell me, not without guilt, that they don't practice daily. I remind them that Yoga is more than the mat. Yoga is found in Everything in every moment. Often my yoga mat goes ignored for days - even weeks - but I am always deeply devoted to my Practice in traditional, and most certainly in non-traditional ways. My yoga looks like Sufi dancing and Thai Chi, and letting someone go before me in a line. My yoga is found on the acupuncture table or in giving a hug to a loved one. My yoga looks like grinding coffee beans in the morning and taking my dog on a walk. My yoga looks like honest feedback in homework assignments, an eye-contact bow to a clerk in a shop, and mopping the shala floors while singing. My yoga looks like saying no to a request with grace, making vegetable soup and love to Michael, and sitting bundled watching the river flow by. My yoga has different faces but is the same wherever I am. I am never separated from my 'mat'. My breath anchors me to the here and now, and I live present, honoring the extension-whom-I-am of my mothers before me, and as an extension of my home, as an extension of my garden, as an extension of my friends and my animals. Yoga is claiming to LIVE fully, multitasking in consciousness by letting bloodline history, personal memories, and future hopes be expressed in every cell. And yes. It's also found on my beloved yoga mat. Be Nourished.

Lily Kessler