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Yoga “off the mat” – how are you when you’re alone?

dorit Uncategorized Leave a Comment






A few weeks ago, I had to meet with someone up at Tremblant to discuss a new project I’m working on.  I grabbed my dog and off we went for the day!  We (Barney and I) had a great time driving back and forth, I had my meeting, even went for a walk and lunch in Ste. Jovite. On the way back, I was speaking on the phone to a friend, who expressed such surprise that I would do the “trip” alone, have lunch up there “alone” etc… It brought to mind an older conversation I’d had with another friend years before, where she could not believe that on my way to work downtown, I’d take myself for breakfast at least once every week or two. Like a real sit-down breakfast, all by myself.  For me, it was nothing to even think about. But back then, this friend had said the same thing to me; that she would never take herself to a restaurant (even for breakfast) by herself.

These situations make me wonder –  why not?

I ask myself why some people are uncomfortable doing certain things alone?

If it’s a little out of your comfort zone, it would be a fun experiment. Try it!  Prepare for your trip by telling yourself that you are your own best friend.  And that you may even have things to “talk about.”  Funny as it may sound, being alone is the only time where you can think about certain things, and actually hear yourself think.  And if you want to talk out loud – go for it.  Who cares what people say?

My father used to say to me:  “I’m never bored when I’m alone.  I am good company.

I guess I am my father’s daughter.

And WHAT might you be asking, does this have to do with Yoga?

In Yoga, there are often many opposites at play.  We often speak of connection in Yoga.  To self, to community, and to something “higher” than ourselves.  The importance of feeling connected can’t be underestimated. However equally important, while knowing that we are all somehow interconnected,  is the ability to simply be. To have a quiet awareness of yourself on your mat, and not look outwards for other stimuli. The later, is often difficult for many people.

This sense of discomfort that some will exhibit when it’s just them, nothing else,  becomes evident during the final relaxation in yoga, or Savasana. During the active phase of the practice, people are listening, they’re moving, they’re watching. They’re doing.  When you ask someone to do nothing, to sit or lie in silence, to simply breathe, with no obligations, no instructions, some people get “fidgety.” They look at their watches, they look around at others, you can practically see them making their “to-do” lists in their heads.  Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not being judgemental when I mention this.  It’s a never-ending practice, it will change all the time, and it’s very personal.  As I’ve said often, there is no right way to practice yoga.  So if you leave your mat having found some space in your body and in your mind, then you’ve found your yoga and no one can ever tell you that you’re doing it wrong.

I’m simply suggesting that we all observe how we are, when we’re alone.  Can we find moments of peace when we are silent? Do we always need to be doing something?  Do we always need to have another person around, to validate, or even to enjoy our experience? Can we appreciate what it feels like to simply be our true selves, and to be with our selves?

Can we take ourselves out for a day, or out for lunch for an hour, and have that be a normal and pleasant experience?

These are the things I ponder when I’m on my mat.  And when I take myself out for lunch. ♥

doritYoga “off the mat” – how are you when you’re alone?

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