Life Is Yoga
Every minute of every day we experience conversations and situations. At some point, all of us experience being stuck in traffic. Patiently waiting the opportunity to move, even an inch. And then it happens. The seemingly entitled driver, with somewhere so important to be, someone so important to meet, they impatiently come flying up the shoulder of the highway.
More often than not we immediately react.
We get angry. Start cursing them, flailing our hands around, beeping our horn as they pass just to show them we are irritated. Or see them coming and move our car just far enough into the shoulder so there is no way they are getting in front of us. They will not beat us in this game of traffic.
But what if we pause, take a deep breath, then react.
Offer loving-kindness. Pray they make it on time to whatever it is causing them to be in such a rush as they pass by. Maybe they are late for their first day of a new job, their wife is going into labor, or they don’t want to miss their child’s debut high school baseball game. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
"Sometimes it’s okay if the only thing you did today was breathe."
In each one of these daily conversations and situations we experience feelings. Those we want to push away – anger, fear, disappointment. Those we want to hold on to – love, happiness, gratitude. By taking a deep breath, we tune into what our body is telling us. We learn what anger feels like, what love feels like. Each one of us feels it differently. Feelings themselves are surface level. If we take a moment to breathe, we might discover what’s REALLY bothering us, or what we’re REALLY happy about on the inside.
Just like life, yoga is an experience of highs and lows, hot and cold. Practicing yoga is practicing a union of opposites. Through our breath we are able to be in control of our mind, which in turn controls our body. If we experience pain and just exist in it, we suffer. If we experience unpleasantness but are mindful, we become free. The same thing is true of our reactions to feelings.
Maybe you have never stepped foot on a yoga mat. But if you simply practice connecting to your breath, being kind to yourself and others, you are doing yoga.
So, next time a driver comes flying up the shoulder in traffic, just breathe.