Where else can we practice?
Where else can we practice?
One of the comments I receive from many of my clients is that they don't have time or space to practice their Qigong or yoga. So my question back to them is how much time and space is required? I often get answers like, I need at least an half an hour to an hour, have to wait until the kids/husband/dogs are not about, something else, sun has to be in the 3rd house with Capricorn rising in the east, or some other justification as to why they haven't been able to practice.
And we do just that, we justify why we haven't done a thing, we strangely can't just say, I chose not to! And it is so easy to look at all these beautiful scul;ped images of people in amazing places, looking like stars of the stage and this can be a really far cry from us in our stained t-shirt and pants, not wanting to do much today.
But also, how many opportunities are we missing that we didn't think we could do our practice in because we have rules and beliefs about when and where we can practice. Thinking that we have to have our special outfit, our mat, certain music playing or some other strange ritual that gives us permission to practice. This is all well and good and great to have things that help us ot feel more open, but how many unnecessary limitations are we creating for ourselves that if we chose differently could give us a much wider range of places and time to do practice.
So going back to the how much time it takes to practice question, here's my spinner, you only need as long as it takes to do one movement or posture! Which could be as little as 10 seconds to a minute.
Really, can I really count that as having practiced? Did you go through the movement? Then yes you practiced!
Was it the deepest, most involved, fully focussed, highly nurturing practice? Maybe not, but does that mean it doesn't count? Nope, it all counts.
In Integral Life Practice, we accept that some days we have less time, inclination or space to practice. Does that mean we can't scale down the practice and do an abridged version so that we can still maintain our practice? Of course not, doing a little of something, is better than doing a whole load of nothing (unless a whole load of nothing is your intended practice for the day).
We can be quite tough on ourselves the days where we don't practice and you know how it is, sometimes when we miss a day, that day can become a week or a month even. Then we give ourselves a load of internal grief for not having practiced. So what if you allowed your self to practice in other places for shorter times to help you maintain your consistency?
Many Qigong practices have been developed so they can be done seated or even lying down for example. So even if you are not feeling great, you can do some basic standing or movement type postures from your chair or even your bed if you are unwell.
As so much of Qigong becomes and internal awareness, the intention to move energy around the body (The Mind, leads the Qi, leads the Blood), we can do certain exercises without anyone even knowing, circulating our breathing in the microcosmic orbit for example.
I also take every opportunity I have to work on my basic standing postures as well. So practically every que I am stood in, every time I'm standing to talk to friends or clients, I am subtly and internally adjusting my posture to be in alignment with my basic wuji standing posture. Noticing how my weight is distributed through my feet, how soft my knees are, how engaged my hips are, where are my shoulders, how is my spine and head alignment. All things that when I do them, help me to store that "address" of practice so that I can come back to it with more ease each time. The more I repeat a practice, the better the body is at remembering how to re-establish it each time, meaning that over time it gets easier and easier to go deeper with it.
So next time you are stood, waiting in a que, moving between things, waiting for the kettle to boil or the dinner to cook or the spin cycle to finish, I dare you to just do one posture, one movement for a short moment and look at how that contributes to you day. It may only be a little, but a lot of little's added up over time amount to a great deal.
And whatever you do, enjoy it, its not supposed to be a burden, so if it's not making you happy to practice what you do, choose something else, all roads lead to heaven eventually, but how we get there is up to us.
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