I have been struggling to get my daily practice in for weeks now. My 3 and 6-year old daughters are in a "needy" stage, and I've been busy with projects. I feel stuck and know I need to get on my mat and sweat - a lot! So I hired a babysitter and went to "Sunday night Sundown" at SID Yoga, a few blocks from my home. I haven't been to this class in months because of an injury, move and major life changes this summer. There were only three of us "old-timers" and a lot of new faceless bodies ... mostly college kids and tweens from what I could tell. The music thumped and I was drenched with my own sweat 15-minutes into class. It felt great to sweat. The fast paced power yoga made my body wake up in a way that I don't experience with with my home Ashtanga practice. The music was too loud and distracting, because I couldn't hear Sid's cues, but I was enjoying my practice and having fun. Withdrawing from my senses is one of limbs of yoga that I have recently learned to enjoy practicing. It's fun, like a game. How long can I hold this pose without judgement of it, my body, or the teacher? What is that noise, or smell and can I turn off those senses? So, over the loud bass, Sid started to talk. He had to yell really in order to be heard. He talked about a survey, and comments that the music was too loud. I smiled, knowing it really was too loud for anyone over 21. Then he said, "If the music's too loud, then you should be practicing with loud music." Huh? I thought to myself.
But yes, pratyahara, the fifth limb of yoga, is the practice of withdrawing from our senses. We can do yoga anywhere. That's the point. We are working to block out the distractions that keep us from having peace. So, I should practice with loud music. I should practice despite my daughters arguing, and whining. To practie yoga is to be able to still the fluctuations of ones mind, regardless of what is going on around us. When it comes balancing mommyhood and yogini, I'm not that advanced yet, because after ten minutes or so of interruptions, I give in, get off my mat, and become just "mom" again. For now, I'll wake up hours before they do, or hit Sunday Sundown. But I'm committing to 30-days of practice. It's 9:02pm and I'm getting on my mat now because that's just how the day went today. I'm going to play the music too loud, and let the world around me melt into my mat, along with the sweat.