“If you live in America in the twenty first century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they are doing: “Busy!” “So Busy.” “Crazy Busy”
This quote is taken from the essay I recently just read called Lazy A Manifesto By Tim Kreider
He goes on to say how most people that say how busy they are do it to themselves by just taking on too much. They aren’t busy because of things they actually have to do but rather things they choose to do.
Then he talks about the people that are actually busy - people pulling back to back shifts in the ICU, People working 3 minimum wage jobs just to pay rent, people taking care of sick parents. Single moms. People with real obligations
These people are really busy.
Krista Shirley is one of those people.
She is a single Mom.
She runs her own Yoga Shala.
Does this stop her from practicing?
Here’s how she does it.
Practice as Therapy
I'm really into the physical anatomy of yoga and understanding how the body works and why; why this practice is such an integrational therapy for everybody. But I like to look at the psychology. That's kind of my recent and most passionate component of practice teaching. It's helping my students utilize their practice to be their therapist and to delve deeper into that. For the last few years as I'm really deconstructing and reconstructing a lot of my own personal life, it's been pretty powerful for me and I tend to teach where I am personally. In terms of the physical practice, that's regimented. I teach just like Guruji did. But then, I guess I bring a little bit of other things into it to.
Getting Your Practice in as a Busy Mom
Is it hard for me to be a mom and to get on the mat every day? The answer is no. It's not. It's easy. I feel really blessed because it is easy for me. I don't question it. Because I know if I don't get to my mat, then I'm not in a good space to teach and I'm in an awful space to be a mom. So it's a duty for me personally, but it's also a joy for me and it's a blessing for me.
A lot of moms ask me like, "How do you do it?" You just do it. It's not an option. When you take that away, then it makes it easier. As I'm teaching more and seeing more people and watching people cry in the mat or being afraid or they go into new postures and all this stuff comes up, just like everybody does, if they stick to this practice daily, the body changes but the mind changes. And we start to see things in a different way and we start to really purge.
As a side note, one of the main reasons that I'm coming to India year after year after year is because this is a place where I can be vulnerable and I can let go and I can be really, really sad, or really happy and just really purge things that don't suit me anymore or don't work for me anymore. And maybe I didn't even know that, really understand that. Then I come here and I'm just able to be a student and it all just sheds.
From Enjoyable to Real. When the Practice Really Starts to Work.
So I get to see that with my students. I think that through the practice, we're able to see ourselves for who we really are but we don't understand what we're seeing. There's a bit of deconstruction before reconstruction, and I think that we get through this honeymoon phase in the practice. Those who are really destined or predetermined in some capacity to do Ashtanga yoga fall in love with it quickly. It's that, "Oh, it feels so good. I love it and I enjoy it every day." And you're telling the whole world that you want it by the experience; this amazing, joyful thing that you have.
And then that ends. When that ends, physical pain starts to come, doubt starts to come, mental pain starts to arise, maybe memories from long ago bubbling through the surface. You're in the middle of a posture and you have a flashback of something awful that happened years ago, or a fear, an insecurity that you have. You're sitting with it every day.
The practice does that, right? I think that's when people either really stick with this and dig deeper or they hit the road because like, "I'm not going there." And the value of sticking with it is those of us who have been doing it forever know is that it's just beautiful. We're able to see ourselves in a different way and able to find acceptance. I think from within first but then outside. And be able to look at the world differently and have a lot more compassion and humility and gratitude for what we have and what we don't.
We change and we have something stable and grounding to keep us every day moving forward, one foot in front of the other that we don't have to question because there's nothing about it to question. Then the rest of it fixes itself or works itself out and we can learn not to be so hard on ourselves and judge ourselves and just be present in the moment.
Krista Shirley is a dedicated student and practitioner of traditional Ashtanga yoga. She was introduced to this practice in 2003 and immediately embraced it as a daily part of her life because she was magnetically drawn to the healing this practice provides. For the last twelve years Krista has rolled her mat out each day because it is such an intrinsic part of who she is. Ashtanga Yoga has given Krista health and wellness, comfort, stability, peace, mindfulness and an outlet to work on herself and help others.
She recently came out with a the first Primary and Intermediate Series Poster by a women.
You can purchase the poster, check out some amazing videos and learn more about Krista at her website
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