Outside practice: Focus on the answer, not the challenge

So one of the great things about a home practice…you don’t have to do it at home.

I took my practice on the road, sort of speak and went to my neighborhood park to get my downdog on! That’s adho mukha svanasana for those learning sanskrit.

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Empty park!!! Time for some yoga!

A post shared by Icess Fernandez Rojas (@writin2insanity) on

Not gonna lie, it was lovely not to have so many people there.  Lovely! The school-aged children were in school because their school year had just started. Also, part of the walk/run track was closed. So, except for some smaller children with their moms splashing around in the water feature, I had the entire place to myself.

For my practice, I usually work on my sun salutations and concentrate on form, then I continue my flow working on things like hip openers, back bends, and balance. But this time, I decided to use a yoga podcast to get my flow going.

For this one, I used Stacy Dockins’ podcast. Stacy is owner of the Yoga Project, a Dallas-Fort Worth studio. When I lived in the area, I attended the Arlington location so it was great to see (hear) that they recorded some of their practices and converted them into podcasts.

Their latest was a Power Yoga. And although it was great to be guided (I used wireless headphones to listen and they called out poses), I soon found my headphones one on the ground and taking my own path.

The world is a noisy place and I not only wanted to listen to what my body needed but I wanted to listen to what my mind wanted to work out. I’d been feeling not quite myself lately with stressors making a play for my calm — returning to work, advising, family, etc.  I wanted to work it out on the mat and leave it there.

Sometimes you just need to work it out on the mat.

My lesson during this practice was to listen to myself. What did I need to be okay? What did I need to focus on?

Often times we concentrate on doing the poses correctly, getting into the difficult pose or getting that sequence just right. We focus on the challenge when we should be focusing on the lesson. That requires us to listen, to focus, to be open and accept what is being taught to us at that moment.

Life doesn’t have a playbook so listen becomes imperative.

What I heard during my practice that day was that I needed to take better care of myself by guarding my own reflection time.  I heard that the mat was my sanctuary and that the way my body moves on it was a blessing and a gift that I should use more often.

Are you listening to the lesson being taught to you? Use your practice as a way to ask the questions to which you need to find answers.  Let’s get these lessons, yogis!


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