Everyday Yoga – Locate Your Off Switch

Everyday Yoga – Locate Your Off Switch

Here’s the scene: you’re driving somewhere – to work, to a class, a performance, a family function.  Imagine yourself in your car and on your way. Now, 5 quick questions for you.

  • What kind of driver are you, speed demon or cool & calm?
  • Do you fluctuate in either type, or are you firmly planted in one habit or the other?
  • Are you a punctual person and consistently arrive well ahead to be settled at the start?
  • Do you tend to find yourself rushing in just under the wire, or late for almost every engagement?   
  • Ever find yourself thinking up really good excuses (to tell your host/spouse/teacher/kids, etc) to justify your ’tardiness’ habit?

For close to 20 years,  every Wednesday at 6:30 am I would  drive across the Tappan Zee Bridge to see private yoga clients.  More often than not, I’d be running late and inevitably I’d find myself speeding for a good portion of the ½ hour trip.  And I mean speeding, really speeding. Surprisingly, early in the morning I don’t think I ever saw police and never once got a speeding ticket.  

As I became aware of this habit, I had to laugh – here I am, flying down the highway to get to someplace to tell people to breeeeathe, relaaaax, feeeeel into the moment. The irony was just too rich! Get back to this in a moment…

Are you up for a challenge? It’s theoretically very easy and for some of you, it may not be any challenge at all.  But for me, it’s really hard – especially out on the highway. There’s only 1 rule: drive the speed limit, for the entire drive!

Whether it’s driving to an appointment, work deadlines, or responding to emails –  the reality is, when you’ve normalized the adrenaline rush that comes with having the ‘on’ switch locked in place, it can be a tough habit to break.

So back to my early morning drives –  it took an incredible amount of effort to confront this habit. It meant I had to 1) pay attention 2) question what was leading up to my departure 3) notice how I organize my time. To this day, it remains an ongoing challenge.

Change is NOT easy!! It requires steadfast commitment, the willingness to see the humor in our human foibles, and never giving up!  

Here are some guidelines from The Yoga Sutras. Tapas svadyaya ishvara pranidhana.  

Tapas – the energy that is needed to create change

Ishvara pranidhana  – understanding that which is not changeable

Svadyaya -the self study or wisdom to know the difference

At The Yoga Garden we practice a style of yoga from the lineage of TKV Desikachar and Krishnamacharya, which is meant to be individualized to you personally.  This practice is about using what you do in your Yoga CLASS and living it EVERYDAY!.

The yoga that is really important is the yoga of relationship.  

Relationship to everything; to your body, your family, your boss, to food, to finances, to nature, your culture, your Self.

It is the yoga of compassionate change!

And please, drive safely!!

Much love to you, Patty

P.S. Tell me I’m not alone on this! Comment below with your stories.


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