What I learned from Dave Farmar’s yoga classes.
Dave Farmar knows why he does yoga and it’s for all the right reasons.
One of my favorite quotes is “how you do anything is how you do everything.”
It realy works in the yoga room and flows out to daily life.
Whenever I remember that, I stop for 30 seconds and concentrate on that pose. I relax my face. I refuse to “make a big deal out of” the discomfort (another one of his phrases). I live with it. I get comfortable with discomfort.
The whole rest of my day, I do thing the same way. Concentrating on one thing at a time.
Not getting angry or distressed.
Just living in that moment. Breathing through the discomfort.
I can hear him saying:
“Get used to being uncomfortable.”
“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
“How you move from one pose to the next is everything.”
And by being fully present in that moment, your daily interactions with your family and friends are so much richer and more intentional.
I notice, after a Baptiste yoga and meditation, that I can focus.
I can also make decisions.
And I can figure out what to do next.
There is usually only one thought in my mind as opposed to hundreds.
I can hear the one voice that I am supposed to listen to instead of hearing a dozen.
If you knew me, you would know how different this is for me. More than a little ADHD and creative, I fly from one beginning to the next before I can finally buckle down and decide what to focus on.
Yoga changes all that.
There are long term effects that doing yoga in a dedicated fashion had on me that I will cherish forever. But each day that I do yoga, there are powerful repercussions throughout that day.
For instance, one day after a class in which I learned to breahe (finally), I got lost trying to get gas and, low on gas and cash, I was in the perfect position to panic and throw blame. But uncharacteristically, I didn’t. My mind and body instinctively went to my Ujjayi breathing. In this calm, accepting state, I was able to come up with a simple plan for getting out of my predicament and my heart rate never accelerated. I had practiced not being a victim in my yoga class (controlling your breathing by inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply through your nose calms your mind down and signals to your heart that there is nothing to get excited about). In a situation where I usually started feeling like a victim (this isn’t fair, why didn’t Nate put gas in the car?), my Ujjayi breathing reminded my heart that there was nothing to get excited about and that I was in control of my reaction. I wasn’t a victim.
Another example. I had done a short yoga class and ended with ten minutes of meditation. Before the class I knew I had a hundred things to do that day (or so it seemed). But after giving my mind a break from reactive thinking for ten mintues, an amazing thing happened. “Let’s go wash the dishes,” was the clear, strong, comforting voice after the meditation was complete. Not ten things, five things, or even two things. Just one calm thought. Because I am a believer, I believe this was God’s voice. You could also say it was my inner voice and the other voices (like voices of guilt or other people), had been silenced by my practice of stillness. After I cleaned the kitchen, there were other tasks, just as simply presented to my mind and just as calmly acted upon, most relating to my web design business. It was a fulfilling and productive day.
With the new year offering us all new mercies and second (or third) chances, I am looking forward to getting on my mat to practice Baptiste yoga as often as possible.
Yoga classes by my favorite teacher.
Also read Enjoy This Rest, with more on why I love Yoga with Dave Farmar.