Our Practice – Yoga Vs. Traumayama
Do you practice yoga or traumayama?
I was reading a chapter in Judith Lasater’s book, Living Your Yoga when I came on the phrase traumayama. Judith Lasater’s child coined the phrase, when asked if she practiced yoga, she said no, she did “traumayama”. (Pranayama is the Sanskrit word for meditation using breathing exercises). The anecdote makes one chuckle, however many of us do practice traumayama. We set expectations for our practice that are unrealistic, uncomfortable, and then we become self-judgmental about our “performance”. We fall victim to the boot-camp, no pain no gain, power yoga philosophy that if we don’t push ourselves to attain perfect, potentially injurious poses we are not “good at yoga”. I remind my students all the time, there is a reason that yoga is not in the Olympics! If we reflect on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 2.46, sthira sukham asananam: The posture for yoga meditation should be steady, stable, and comfortable, we realize that the painful, pretzel approach is the opposite of what are practice should be about. We can focus on the wisdom of this sutra relative to our practice, understanding that not forcing or stressing our bodies but finding the sthira and sukha (strength and ease) in our pose is a healthful (both mind and body) approach. I suggest we approach our practice this week by thanking ourselves for trying new things and realizing that no pain is no pain….simple really.
For more on this topic, I suggest Living Your Yoga is a great book, the author takes yoga beyond the asanas (poses) and links it to our daily lives, living our yoga off the mat!
For more on sthira and sukha and letting go of images of perfection check out this article:
Meditation – No Self Judgement
Following the thoughts above on our practice, let’s focus this week on meeting ourselves where we are and letting go of self judgement. Focus on feeling the simple joy of moving your body, breathing, and letting your mind go.
This is yoga.
“Butterflies can't see their wings. They can't see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can. People are like that as well.” – Unknown
Nurturing With Food – Apple Pie
I am not a dessert person which is probably good as I love to eat. A work colleague said to me once years ago, “you eat more than any woman I know!” (not sure what I think about that now in retrospect) I guess, luckily for me, my favorite foods are relatively healthy (yes, really, a big salad with lots of goodies is my favorite lunch). When I do make (and eat) dessert it is usually something with fruit.
As I have mentioned in prior recipes, while my pie recipe is vegan, it is not health food. I make my grandmother’s pie recipe, and I use Crisco. My sister gave me a bunch of delicious apples and feeling Fall-ish, I made the apple pie I have always made, with a couple of tweaks.
Link to recipe:
See you on the mat!