What kind of routines you have in your everyday life? Do you drive to school, do you brush your teeth, get dressed in the morning, make supper, spend time together on the couch? What’s the difference between brushing your teeth and 90 minutes on a yoga mat? Practice brings about only the kind of change that can happen with time. When we add mindfulness or consciousness to a regularly practiced activity it becomes our practice. It can be thought of as a experiential inquiry into what’s true underneath the form. Gratitude for the practices in my life comes in many forms. Tears at the end of yoga class. Connection to the earth, to the universe, or maybe just to my own body. Or a simple answer a knowing that came from trusting my body enough to neglect the to do list and make it onto the mat.
Practice is something that allows us to build upon our identities, learn about ourselves, grow, change, cry, laugh,and feel. It’s a container of space to return to.
Every time I return, there is something to expand on. Whether I master all 26 poses, or I spend the entire class in child’s pose, I have made it to my practice. Just being there is success. I have granted myself an opportunity to surrender and let go. I let go of the of the do list, the inner critic, the voice that is angry or fearful or discontent. I release all the things of that draw me away from the present moment and just feel my body.
My practice allows me to lead from my body instead of my mind. Like a key, opening my mind, releasing all of the things that might be stuck. I uncurl my grip, and release them to the wind, the way leaves fall from a tree and scatter across the ground. With release of these thoughts comes surrender. My surrender allows me to release all that was stuck in my body and break free from that stuckness. In that moment of deep surrender around my hamstring muscle, I am surrendering to a distant heartbreak, and disappointment, maybe anger that was in my body an hour ago. It can now move through me and out of my body.
Sometimes my practice lets me move something that I couldn’t move with only the will of my mind. My mind was working overtime, but mostly inhibiting my surrender. All I had to do was quiet my mind.
Maybe your practice is yoga, or sitting meditation, or walking in the woods, or journaling. Maybe you have an OM practice with your partner. Fifteen minutes of connected touch and attention and mindfulness around your sexuality. Whatever your practice, may it open you to know how to love yourself and feel connection.
If you don’t have a practice now is the time to start. A daily mindful practice is an incredible way to prepare for the birth of your baby. Not to mention it makes us better parents, better partners, and better humans. Creating a practice like this in your life actually gives you an opportunity to learn how to re-create that surrender in your birth. Every moment is an opportunity to teach our bodies to let go of the attachment to all of the thoughts the race around in our minds, and open ourselves. Humans are the only species on the planet that create fear and doubt around birth. Practice allows us to unlearn these fears, to trust our bodies, and surrender to the power of birth. Birth in itself is a practice, of letting go, of surrendering, and allowing our bodies to take over and do what we as women were born to do.
Daily practice is something we come back to whether we want to or not. Practitioners practice when they are hurt, when they are sick, when they are sad, it’s just something we do, knowing that change and growth come with time, and that regardless of how we feel, or if we want to, our practice is there waiting for us. A gateway to living a more whole, balanced life. We return to our breath, to our heart center, to opening and letting go. We return to our connection with our bodies, our babies, and our partners. Remember that your practice successful even if you only make it to the mat or the cushion and sit down. Practice is goalless, there is nowhere to get to.
In my practice of orgasmic meditation I allow my body to go wherever it needs to go. I release the thoughts of what it should look like. I never know exactly when sensation I will feel, but I trust my body. I allow myself to surrender and feel, in hopes that each moment will be an opportunity to learn about myself and explore what the truth that is available to me beneath the form.
This is your practice you get to make it whatever you want it to be. Sit. Breathe. Enjoy. You are alive.