This photograph is the furthest thing from my daily yoga practice, but I love it for its imaginary quality. Yoga magazines and articles are full of unrealistic photographs. Mountain yoga. Seaside yoga. Breathtaking sunsets. Solitude. Quiet. The landscape of dreams. The photographs have value if they inspire us. Motivate us. Or maybe just make us feel calm. We can imagine that if we were sitting in that spot, we’d feel immense tranquility. Maybe we would and maybe we wouldn’t.
I don’t have a particular desire to be somewhere I’m not—to be wherever that woman is (Utah?). More and more I’m a believer in finding zen wherever you are. “The only zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the zen you bring there,” says Robert M. Pirsig.
My ideal daily yoga practice would be to light a candle, play quiet music, have a view of the sun rising and zero interruptions. When I am rigid, and only proceed with the right conditions (not outrageously beautiful “right” like in the photo above, but even just daily life “right”), I go many days with no yoga at all. By accepting that most days I will be interrupted, I won’t be able to get the music on or light a candle because someone’s on the computer or I can’t find the matches or it’s too early for music or whatever, I am able to do two sun salutations every day. It’s so little, but day after day it gains momentum. There is great stability in choosing how your day will begin.