I recently embarked on a 2.5 week trip with my family to Paris and all over Italy. We visited 7 cities in total and had the time of our lives. I still pinch myself. Pretty much all of these places felt like something out of a dream.
I packed a few sets of yoga attire in hopes of either finding a local studio to challenge myself to follow the flow guided in a different language or at least to find a space in the beautiful Airbnbs we rented to breath and move. I’m going to be 100% honest. I did not make it to any yoga studios and I only briefly flowed about 2.5 times over the entire trip. The cities I went in Europe are not overflowing with studios like LA. I realized how spoiled I am here. Not to mention, I was spending most of my time exploring, EATING, drinking wine and laughing so hard with my family.
I wanted to take as many pretty yoga posed photos in all of these beautiful places I was in. I mean we do not have anything like Europe’s insane backdrops in LA!
Using the hashtag #yogaeverydamnday on a photo of me doing one single pose for 3-7 seconds does not count as yoga.
That is where my inner battle lives.
What is yoga?
Well that is such a broad question. I remember my mind having a minor (maybe major) explosion in my first YTT class when I learned that the yoga I had been practicing was such a teeny tiny piece of it all.
What many of us understand as yoga in Western society is the physical asana practice and perhaps some forms of meditation. Of course as time passes more and more people are expanding their knowledge and understanding of what yoga truly is.
I can get into that starting with the basics of the four yogas, Raja, Bhakti, Jnana, and Karma and everything that falls underneath them but for the purpose of this post I will save that for another time.
What is yoga to me and whatever it is, do I do that every damn day?
To me, yoga is being. Being full and fully me. Reminding myself to constantly Love.
Yoga is being in touch with my-self, my body, my breath and my heart.
Yoga is moving mindfully. Moving with my breath and using it to be present. Feeling the soles of my feet hit the ground and engage.
Yoga is being aware of my breath, especially those certain moments when a deep breath helps more than anything.
Yoga is having constant compassion. Being able to take in the beauty and energy around me.
Yoga is asking my body what it needs. My mind as well. And never to forget my heart.
Yoga is patience.
Yoga is a challenge and figuring out my way to overcome or adapt to that challenge and find my happiness in it no matter what it is.
Yoga is a pause in the hustle of everyday life or in exciting adventures. A pause to take a breath in and really feel the goodness of whatever it may be.
Yoga is so many things, technical and not.
I thrive to embody what yoga is to me throughout my life in whatever I am doing, including my most recent trip. It takes constant reminders. Perhaps catching myself in a bit of a non-yoga semi-manic state to think about my breath, grounded-ness, and energy. Also having moments to remind myself of what I am grateful for. Moments to remind myself who I am. Having the constant mantra “Be true, be you.”
I believe yoga can be in me and around me all of the time if I chose to see it, feel it and be it.
Maybe my sense of #yogaeverydamnday isn’t exactly what it should be or what history tells me, but this is where the practice has brought me.
I am grateful for my yoga, my practice, THE practice.
I guess as long as I do my best to practice all of these things and be true, I am doing a bit of yoga every day.
On my trip, I did have several moments throughout where I stopped to breathe in what was around me and would say to myself “remember this” because it all felt so good. I also had moments where I was exhausted and/or frustrated and had to pause and breathe to overcome the negative feelings.
Traveling is one of the best things we can do in life, whether big or small or near or far. Even just to the neighborhood next door. It opens our eyes and inspires growth. Honestly, I do not think my experiences would be quite as magical and appreciated without yoga being such a big part of my life.
Here are a few captured happy moments that I feel share the true vibes from my Parisian & Italian adventure...