In my lifetime- written last Monday, January 17, 2022

I’m thrilled to be writing this from home as the large international company I worked for celebrates Martin Luther King Day. I suppose if I hadn’t left the corporate world for 20 years of yoga the change would not appear so dramatic to me. In 2002 at Pfizer Inc we had “a black person” in the department. Then maybe two. Now the firm I work for is populated with all kinds and colors of people in all levels of management and administration. It’s more than a little wonderful. Martin Luther King Day is celebrated by the whole firm rather than being an optional day to take off. In my lifetime I’ve seen the first president female presidential candidate {hardworking and persistent), a female vice president of color (intelligence strength and courage). I’ve witnessed the birth of the personal computer, the explosion of the Internet, the cell phone, the electrical car, the surge of plant based foods worldwide, and then the spread of yoga all over the planet. These evolutionary transformations are the result of thousands of people, hundreds of thousands of people committing their time and their energy, their mone,  their resources into what they believe in. The bottom line – how we spend our time – matters. This is a new paradigm. One component of a well-done yoga practice is that we experience the power of a moment of choice – this is vinyasa (Vi- to know,  nyasa – to place on purpose). It’s to place our attention on purpose. It’s to place our foot on purpose. It’s to place our mind on purpose. It’s too to choose what we’re doing moment by moment on purpose.  On purpose – in alignment with our purpose. As the yoga business wobbles to regain its footing after COVID as practitioners we are invited to consider what we place where and when – on our mats and in our lives. Moments of crisis are always moments of great creativity.  Big changes are composed of moments of choices.

I can remember in the early days with my teacher – she would teach one side of the sequence and then invite us to do the other on our own. Sometimes we would practice both sides and then she would ask us to repeat the sequence on our own backwards. I was snagged more than a few times with not remembering what we’ d done. I quickly learned to pay more attention.

Last week I talked about esoteric mathematical ideas of time and yoga. There is no need to understand that deeply except to open to the underlying understanding that your yoga practice opens you to know yourself differently  in the context of these vast dimensions of time and space.

Patanjali teaches in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali that what we focus on grows (throughout the entire book. On the mat or off we are well served by awakening to where we rest our attention – celebrities, calm joyful thoughts, things that are wrong, things that are beautiful, breath, pain, love, etc. and consciously choosing, without judgment, where we want to place that oh so powerful vehicle of our attention

Today as I said is a holiday

my mind turns back to the struggle of job and work and what I want to do and what I want to accomplish there, but this is not a time for that. It’s a holiday of reverence. I attend to what I consciously must and then I tend to what I choose to attend to.

This is easier if you practice establishing intention at the beginning of your day to be aligned and focused in a particular way appropriate for the time. On the mat a clear intention will focus your whole practice. In all the ways you can practice intention I invite you to play creatively with these intentions. Crafting them and your practice lovingly and with full awareness or as full as it is available in the moment.

It is useful to work with intentions divine, personal, worldwide, communal,  spiritual, physical, emotional and more for broadening of our perspective.  The creative way that we craft them-  the intentions – the language we use, matters. As these intentions are part of sadhana or conscious spiritual practice, it’s generally a good idea to commit to working with a particular intention for a period of time. I’m finding that due to the intense transformation of the landscape of experience unfolding for all of us through the pandemic that my intentions work best when I update them about weekly.

It is my deepest wish that you find this information useful, that it serves your practice, your heart and your healing. 


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