Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Coming home to yoga

My life has been unsettled these past few months. I have not had my own place to live since mid-December. I have traversed the date line, spent weeks in hostels and hotels, and eating out, and it has caught up to me. For the first time in years, my back is sore in ways I do not understand, and I am feeling stuffed up for no good reason. In short, I have the effects of not doing yoga.

Longtime readers of this blog know that I often talk about yoga off the mat. The entire point of this blog is about putting yoga in your everyday life. As I said in this post, yoga can and should be done anywhere by anyone. Thus, tree pose around the world was born. On my travels, I found some opportunities.

But as beautiful and fun as those opportunities were, I learned another big lesson. Although yoga can be done anywhere, we still have to make time for it, more than 5 minutes at a time. You do not need 90 minute classes everyday, but truly setting aside time for yourself, to learn the tools that you can use at all times, is essential.

I think the world of yoga, especially for lawyers looking to utilize it throughout the day, is like a bucket. You fill it up, and you continue to top it up when it begins to run low, but if you are not topping it up enough, the reserves run out, and so do its benefits. Thus, if you are doing five-minute yoga every few hours, it stays full. If you go without for a few months, the reserves run out as well.

The good thing about yoga is that you can always go back. You can start easy again, reformulating how you want yoga to look in your life and in your work. Being without for a period of time is a great way to reassess. What was really working? What was not?

As the last two posts (here and here) have discussed, patterns can get in the way of our true growth. Yoga can become a pattern, especially if you are only doing one kind of yoga, with the same teacher, or doing the same five poses at your desk each day. Forcing ourselves out of our patterns is a great way to reassess and determine how best to move forward, how best to use the practice as a benefit in the future.

So, with my sore back and stuffy nose, I am headed to a yoga class tonight with a new kiwi friend. I know nothing of the studio and nothing of the teacher, but yoga is internal. I am going to start creating a new community, something yoga and the law have both taught me is essential to growth. Hopefully, I will find new ways of integrating yoga into my life, my work, and the world.

Namaste and Blessings!

© 2011 Rebecca Stahl, all rights reserved
This blog is not affiliated with Fulbright or Fulbright New Zealand, and all opinions expressed herein are my own.


  1. That's what I want to read you doing-- courageous and conquering the new! I will take this lesson to heart and start to find time again, rededicate myself to my inner journey. Its a good place to be.

  2. Thanks, Toni. The inner journey is always there, no matter how far we try to stray. :)