Mis En Place.
Everything is in its place. This is commonly referred to having the kitchen prepared, vegetables chopped etc to cook food.
Over the last week, in our current chilly situation, I have been thinking about this phrase and how it applies to practice. Is it ideal, that the boiler in the church is broken, that we have to wear more layers and huddle together to practice? No. While it is temporary, it opposes challenges. You have to likely do all 5 Sun As and Bs, maybe keep the speed in your vinyasa, or conversely allow for more time to allow muscles to lengthen. But when is anything in your day ideal? Can you ever expect it to remain the same each day? To have your meals planned out, preparations for meetings, commute calculated, positive interactions with friends? Also, No.
How do you react when something imbedded in your routine is absent? Your meeting runs late and you can’t make it into the studio. Your long awaited beach vacation is flooded with rain. Or in our case, the boiler is being repaired and it’s rather chilly!
Do you panic? Do you get angry? Do you pity yourself? Do you neglect practice?
In truth, you have everything already in its place. You have BREATH and a body to manipulate it with. You are equipped to handle these alterations if you simply carry on. And no matter what shifts, you can still practice.
In fact it is arguably MORE important to practice when you think something is missing. When you’re heartbroken, depressed, lethargic, cold, fearful, or anxious. Instead of opting out, why don’t you practice less with longer breathes. Allow yourself to enjoy the luxury of a movement practice. Come with the intention of allowing your practice to support you. To remind you that everything changes and that you can train your thought patterns to respond more openly to it. When I remind myself that everything IS in fact in it’s place, then I get a sense of relief. The reminder that while I can’t control the variables in my day, I CAN choose how to I respond to them.
Why bother coming into the cold space then and not practice at home? Because there is power in community and to set an example for one another that you can always practice. Showing up is enough. Showing up for yourself creates the community. Maintaining your practice in difficult times elevates the community. Positive lifestyle patterns in the face of adversity are powerful.
Sometimes I fantasize that our Mysore Program is a troop preparing for deployment. That one day, if we were deployed to defend Yoga (yikes…that is quite a task) that we would be the first and last people on the field. That despite low rations, clothing, & even faith we would be able to represent resiliency.
Thank you ALL for practicing that resilience this week in the alternate room and for simply moving and breathing.
Mis En Place.