the barefoot budget

unconventional grit for a mindful life


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I think I finally have dancer, or natarajasana down.

My yoga practice is not something I talk about. Not on the internet, not with friends or family, not even with Andrew. In fact, I go into my room and shut the door to practice alone. I practice in my office with the door closed on my lunch breaks. It all kinda feels like a big secret. I guess I don’t want people to think I’m some pretentious yoga nut. But my practice couldn’t be more integral to my life. It is the one thing I make sure I find time for every single day. The garden might not get watered, I might miss a little sleep, but I never forgo my yoga practice. I bring my mat on vacation and at least find the time for a forward fold and some moments of meditation.

Yoga is difficult because it challenges my ‘little miss perfect’ mojo. Homesteading does that too. You always fall and you always make mistakes. Yet I still return to these practices, day in and day out. Progress is frustratingly slow. It took me almost two years to find ease in down dog, and I still can’t practice crow pose even after hours of attempts. Thank god it’s not about hitting the poses though, because if it was I would have quit a long ass time ago.

My yoga is about showing up for myself and trying, against all odds, to love myself. I definitely don’t have self love and my self/ body image is god awful. But on the mat, every little win counts. Every deep breath that helps let go of the monkey mind. Every moment of focus on the body. Every adjustment that brings peace and ease to the poses. It all helps cultivate self love, because it allows me to prove to myself that I can do. That I can focus and experience who I want to be, that I can show up every day to practice physical and spiritual health. That I can get on my mat when I’m angry, depressed, or anxious. Yoga’s not a drug that makes those things go away – it’s a system of coping with those things by exploring them through the body, heart, and spirit. I can only work through so much in my mind with my limiting thoughts, but on the mat, I can find expression in a myriad of other ways.

I can’t say it enough but everyone should try yoga. It’s not for one body type or age or cultural niche or gender or race. My college professor told me that in a way, we are all yogis. I used to think that was silly, but I think I finally know what she meant. Anything can be your yoga practice, as long as it serves you. The poses are just one part. I practice yoga every time I take a bite of pizza by giving the sensations my full attention and really savoring the smells and tastes. I practice yoga first thing in the morning when I’m brushing my teeth, by caring for my body and paying attention to what I’m putting into it. I practice the poses every day too because they make me feel good.

Dancer makes me feel amazing and my coworkers might tell you I can be seen doing it in the middle of the office. I practice this pose on porches, mountains, and in fields. I just love it. It feels so full of joy and life!

Check out this video for yoga anyone can do ANYWHERE. I like to do these poses the minute I come from work, to let go of the day thus far and settle into my homestead.

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