Recently watched, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” starring Ben Stiller as Walter Mitty, an employee at Life magazine. In my opinion, Life magazine’s motto is synonymous with the discoveries of a dedicated yoga practice.
Throughout the movie, Walter’s daydreaming character evolves. Spurred by the magazine’s mantra, Walter craves the extraordinary adventures and fantasizes through the ordinary times.
Walter is waiting for extraordinary experiences and it causes him to miss ‘being’ present to the joy and wonder of moments right in front of him. While it may be unrealistic to compare the experience of climbing Mt. Everest to waiting for a bus on Tuesday, a yoga practice supports not comparing the experiences rather, holding space for each. There will be situations on the path that are bigger and bolder than ever imagined. Experiences so great that physical and mental spaces will be deeply imprinted with long-lasting effects, whether desired or not. Then, there will be other times that are subtler. Ordinary times when impressions are not deep and yet, due to their rate of occurrence, habits are formed, for good or bad. It’s the frequency of these experiences that balance the greatness of the others. Through breath, movement and meditation practices, aim not to compare better or worse. Aim to be awake to both and appreciate each for its uniqueness and unfolding gifts that are life. Allowing each and every moment to be extra-ordinary because of its once in a lifetime, in this breath, this present moment experience.
Ultimately, life is a journey without a final destination except perhaps, joy and contentment. Similar aims of a yogic journey. In the cinematic interpretation, Walter had to travel to distant lands, encounter new cultures and experience hair-raising adventures to open his eyes beyond his small perspective and find himself. Personally, you don’t have to go anywhere but your yoga mat. The path starts there. Travel inward to break down walls and find oneself and each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life, I mean, yoga.
I’m a huge believer in the power of movement and teach yoga because of its power to transform from inside out. I have a 200-hr certification from locally-based Pacific Yoga and offer slow flow, alignment- focused classes for adults and game-playing, story-telling yoga-based movement classes for kids. Yoga offers balance and compassion to the competitive strive-to-win, aggressive mentality in which we are so accustomed. A devoted practice nourishes the body, mind, spirit and brain; and, centers people in ways that empower them to be their most authentic selves. This centering allows people more personal acceptance and openness to the world and opportunities around them, whether on the racecourse, in the corporate world or, in daily life.