what yoga says about priorities.

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There’s this fallacy floating around about “finding the perfect work/life ratio.” It’s insidious and stinky, and just about as savvy as believing that changing one dirty diaper in the morning means you’re off poop duty the rest of the day.

What I’ve come to believe is that there is no work/life dichotomy at all: there is only life. And it’s my decision how to spend my precious, limited and limitless minutes.

I’ve definitely experienced the ubiquitous “mom guilt” about leaving my Little Lady to go back to work after maternity leave. Do I have my priorities straight? Am I showing Little Lady an example of a strong, empowered woman who owns her business and her passion? Or am I showing her an example of a mom who values commitment to other people and her Google Calendar over time with her own daughter?

Thankfully, the world does not work in absolutes and the Spirit of Grace is one that holds seemingly divergent priorities together in one hand, in one breath.

Because nothing matters more than my daughter does. And at the same time, nothing matters more than my work does.

There are two concepts in Yoga Philosophy that speak to this: aparigraha and brahmacharya.

Aparigraha means non-attachment and sharing generously (it’s directly translated as ‘non-hoarding.’) Brahmacharya means finding a balanced lifestyle and pouring your energy into what is Life Giving, not stinky and soul-sucking. (It’s often translated as ‘aligning with the Divine.’) Read more about Yoga Philosophy Key Concepts here.

Aparigraha means it is imperative for me to teach yoga. Nothing matters more than sharing with absolute conviction what I know to be true: we are made to be healed in body, mind and spirit so that we all may live in peace. We are made of Light, in Light and by Light; anything that suggests otherwise belongs in the diaper pail.

Brahmacharya means that I am responsible for finding a way to teach yoga, own a business and love a family in a way that is Life Giving. It necessitates balancing these priorities in a way that doesn’t make me lose my mind, bring home pointless anxiety or fantasize running away to be a Justin Timberlake roadie.

Holding the two concepts of aparigraha and brahmacharya in congruence requires wisdom, quiet time and giant mugs of coffee in between changing diapers, following up with private clients, leading a team of yoga teachers and lesson planning. It takes some effort, but it is definitely worth it.

Here are some practices that help me do this:

Breathing Mindfully

Breathing In; Breathing Out

What helps you find balance? What helps you remember your priorities? How do you give generously and also have time for self-care?

Happy Prioritizing,

-lisa

Some more self-care inspiration: