When is something considered to be a habit? I think yoga has become that for me because it has permeated my life, thoughts and actions. I can tell that I approach things a bit differently than I have in the past. Trust me to say that I’m far from being a saint (ask my family). But that’s why they call it a yoga practice! So what have I been doing that makes me say all of this? I’ve been busy educating myself about yoga and veterinary medicine.
Align with the Divine was the 2011 Anusara workshop taught by John Friend in Detroit. I took part in the mixed level sessions which, for me, was six hours of yoga in two days. I had to be at the clinic for Saturday morning but I reminded myself that, instead of thinking that I was missing two hours, I was going to attend 6 hours. I kept my cool as I waited 45 minutes in the lines at the US Customs booth and then arrived with 5 minutes to spare! I did my yoga before I even got to the workshop. (Note: I was lucky. One of my friends missed both sessions on Saturday due to delays in crossing the border and was so turned off that they skipped Sunday completely. Ugh!). About 200 or more people filled the Compuware Centre gym in downtown Detroit for each session. It was impressive to look down from the mezzanine area and observe the colourful sea of mats all lined up in rows.
There were so many great ideas that John presented. He’s a master at aligning the body in a pose. Several Anusura and Anusara-inspired teachers were present and it was awesome to watch them practice. But I’m just an observer on the sidelines of this level of yoga. I know that there is an inner circle of Anusara teachers that learn from John. I did my yoga by observing and trying to be discerning in my interactions on and off the mat that day. I was happy and tired by the end of it. And not surprisingly, I was a little sore the next day. I was “feeling the transformation”.
Then later on that week, I was off to Toronto for a veterinary conference. I learned lots (behaviour, orthopedics, social media, dentistry), saw old acquaintances and networked with new people. I even got a chance to practice yoga with a classmate – what a bonus! It was a whirlwind four days and a lot of fun. There were some problems with insufficient seating in the lecture rooms, resulting in quite a few upset people. Veterinarians,vet technicians and support staff…overall, we’re not usually the complaining types. But I did my yoga. I decided if I couldn’t make it to a particular lecture that, wherever I chose to go, I would find “the pearl” and take it back with me to use in the clinic. Because who really remembers everything they’ve heard in a 50 minute lecture? And besides, I’d already been at it all day or stayed up late the night before. I was learning but it was overwhelming.
So I did my yoga. During the Anusara workshop in Detroit and during the vet conference in Toronto. I tried to surrender to the moment and enjoy where I was. I tried to take away a few tips and made a mental vow to apply them in practice (on the mat and at the clinic) on the first week back. I tried to be discerning in filtering the information that was being presented (How would it fit into my life? Will these tips/suggestions/new research findings make sense to me?). I tried to observe the interactions between people and not say anything unless I really needed to. Yoga is not such a bad habit, eh?