My Daily Yoga Off the Mat

I do yoga when I walk my dog.  It’s actually the most challenging form of yoga I currently practice.  What is it?  Chanting. 

Given I spend a good hour everyday outdoors with my Walker Coonhound, I have found chanting offers a way to make these walks more meditative as opposed to feeling like they’re a chore.  Chanting offers a wonderful way to create space in my mind and keep me in the present moment.  I find that while chanting I’m able to drown out the sounds of traffic, construction, etc.

The challenge for me is staying focused on the chant I select.  I often get distracted from the chatter in my head or my surroundings.  I’d like to blame the dog for some of the distraction but that’s an excuse.  Frankly, it’s usually the chatter in my head (i.e. to-do list for the day, what’s for dinner, etc.) that gets me off track and takes me away from the present.

To make it easy and to experience the effects of chanting, I stick with the same mantra for a month.  Currently, I’m working with the bija mantra (seed mantra), Shrim.  I have actually found chanting this one sound over and over is even harder than when I chant a phrase.   Regardless of the challenges, chanting has been a wonderful way to practice yoga when I can’t quite make it onto the yoga mat or take some quiet time to meditate.  

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