Well, I just learned (again) what happens when one gets ‘caught up’ and doesn’t pay attention and the teachers were yoga and hiking.   The other night, craving BOTH Yoga and hiking (good thing I’m Hiking Yogini, right? ;))  I grabbed my mat and water bottle for a quick ramble in Lincoln Woods, happy that I had easily an hour before I’d have to leave the park (which closes at dusk.)

I rambled, then settled on a favorite spot, overlooking the lake, to put down my mat and practice some Asana and meditation.  It was hot, but beautiful. The sun shone brilliantly, a slight breeze carried the joyful cries of children swimming across the lake, and I’d managed to find a fairly level piece of ground which made the moments easier.  I flowed through several Salutations and Asanas, breathing deeply, willing myself to stay present to the experience and was pretty successful.  I found myself focusing on postures that offer both strength and heart opening, like Virabhadrasana II and Dhanurasana.  I was content and present within the effort, the opening poses and even the dripping sweat.

I decided to close my practice with meditation before I hiked back to the car.  I’m not sure exactly how long I sat … probably only about 15 or 20 minutes, in reality.  But it was wonderful. I felt connected, calm and grounded.  And I allowed gratitude to flow up for my choice of practice and hiking.  And my ego was rather pleased, too.  I ended my meditation with a soft Om, Shanti, Om, got up, rolled up my mat, grabbed my water bottle and walked back through the woods at a calm-blissful-I-just-practiced-yoga pace.  When I was within 30 feet of the lot in which my car was parked, I realized I was missing something pretty crucial — my keys!  Homer Simpson D'Oh!

I think Homer expresses it perfectly.

Needless to say, my jaunt back to where I practiced, and then back to my car was not nearly as calm.  However, I couldn’t help but laugh at myself.  I WAS present in my practice, but I didn’t translate that completely to the space off my mat.  Being present on the mat IS an accomplishment.  But bringing that awareness to all aspects of our lives is also important — and what we strive to learn in our practices. 

Overall, it was a lesson that came gently. *bowing gratefully to the Universe* It’s a lesson I am sure I will relearn over and over and over, but I don’t mind, because it’s just practice.

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