One of the most valuable gifts of my Pranakriya yoga teacher training was the development of a personal yoga practice. The requirement that I practice by myself for at least an hour several times a week was initially daunting. However, it eventually turned into an early morning routine that set the tone for my day and built confidence in my ability to guide myself. Once I graduated from the training and was only accountable to myself, my home practice shifted. Sometimes it was shorter, sometimes longer, and sometimes more or less consistent. But it was always something I could turn to, knowing it would bring me back to my truth.
Since my daughter was born this past June, my practice has undergone another shift. It’s rare that I have the luxury of a full hour to practice by myself. After turning one room into a nursery, my practice space has changed too. This means I often practice in my family room during her naps. I breathe and move amid toys, with a baby monitor in front of me rather than a candle, and with one or two of our cats walking across my mat. I set a timer for 25 minutes and do what I can and what feels right in the moment. Some days all I fit in is 10 minutes of meditation. Sometimes I practice dirgha pranayama while she nurses or I play with asana while she plays with toys next to me. It’s not an “ideal” practice, nor is it the deepest practice I know I am capable of, but I’ve found that even the shortest practice can serve to ground and nourish me.
Even when I don’t have a particularly profound practice, closing my eyes and looking inward gives me a glimpse of the vast and powerful subtle body within, and serves as a reminder that I am more than I often think I am. I believe that healthy relationships ebb and flow naturally, that our bodies and minds change to reflect phases in our life. In the same way, I believe it is okay for my practice to shift and change with my changing responsibilities. When I am bothered by the fact that it doesn’t look the way it used to, I remind myself that my practice is exactly as it needs to be right now, and that months and years down the road it will be different and perfect for that moment in time as well.