You know, Yoga isn’t just about poses. It also includes practices of mindfulness. The first two limbs; Yama and Niyama describe practices for how to treat others and ourselves. Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own wants we forget that our behaviors have an effect on others. These are few practices to show your love for Lake Tahoe with consideration and mindfulness.
I think that many of us who have chosen to live in Lake Tahoe have done so because we enjoy a little distance between ourselves and others. Some of us have given up the city, large homes or expansive properties in exchange for the wide open lake, mountains and valleys of the basin. When we return to our humble abodes we do so with memories of how wide open the word can be.
While in your home, wherever it may be, try a mindful distancing practice. Imagine yourself in your favorite spot at Lake Tahoe. Envision everything about it from sights to smells and touch to sounds. Spend a little time in your own “Virtual Tahoe.”
Tahoe In Your Home
There are so many things that make Lake Tahoe special. One of my favorite quips is about people who try to bring the various shades of the lake home in jars. One of my least favorite behaviors is people taking Sugar Pine cones home.
Rather than take from Tahoe, create your own Lake Tahoe at home. Use the colors of Tahoe’s water to decorate your living room. When you cut down a tree in your yard have it carved like those in the yards at the lake. Hang photos of your favorite spots in Tahoe on your walls as reminders.
Follow Your Favorites
I think that the best businesses in Tahoe are the ones that are owned by residents. There is something a bit more special about a place that is owned by someone who lives in and loves Tahoe.
You can find many Tahoe small businesses on your favorite social media apps. By following and liking their posts you will not only be “in the know” regarding what is happening, you will also be helping small businesses and owners boost their optimization.
Plan For The Future
You might not be able to get to Lake Tahoe today, but it’s fun to plan on a trip in the future. Create a vision board, list of “want-to’s,” or journal about the places and things you hope to see and do during your next trip.
It doesn’t hurt to reach out to get information and to learn more about the places you hope to visit or the businesses you want to check out. Remember that most of the experience providers and event vendors book early. Contacting them early might just get you an “in.”
We Want To Want You
I grew up visiting Cape Cod, and now that I live in Tahoe, I realize what a challenge it is to live there. There are visitors who are generous, polite, kind, respectful and considerate. These mindful people do everything they can to let others know how much they appreciate where they are. Then, there are those who forget or lose their manners on the way across the bridge, or in our case, over the pass.
Returning to the mindful distancing practice from before, while you enjoy “Virtual Tahoe,” envision how you can make Tahoe a better place now, or during your next visit. Perhaps you’re going to donate to one of the local organizations. Maybe you’ll bring an extra trash bag to clean up as you walk or hike. Imagine yourself pulling over in a safe place, out of the way of traffic, to take in the views. Whatever you choose to do to make Lake Tahoe a better place, we look forward to seeing you during your next visit.
There is a lot of “yoga” out there right now. A boom has occurred and every gym, fitness spot, grassy area, and beach is now offering “yoga.” There are live streams, videos, Youtube channels, memberships, subscriptions and more. Learn to differentiate between those that are Yoga and the rest.
What Is Yoga?
There are 8 specific aspects to the practice of Yoga. When all are included, you are practicing Yoga.
1) Yama: Restraint/Direction/Control
2) Niyama: Observation/Self Control
3) Pranayama: Directed Breathing
4) Asana: Intentional Movement
5) Pratyahara: Sense Withdrawal
6) Dharana: Focused Concentration
7) Dhyana: Meditation
8) Samadhi: Integration
To explain each of these in depth is a much deeper conversation. For those of you seeking a deeper understanding or wishing to learn more about the history and philosophies of Yoga, begin by joining a class. A high quality teacher will incorporate these terms and explain them as they apply to what happens on and off of your mat.
Technique is Important
Asana (Yoga poses) change the way we move. The technique behind each position is important because it forces us to think and focus upon the way in which we are habitually using our bodies. Your teacher should be cueing postures in very specific ways in order to encourage you to redirect your attention and consider your habits. The value lies in understanding how to execute the postures well. Once you have developed this skill, then you can begin to move more quickly and gracefully through them.
Did you know that Yoga has influenced most of the major spiritual practices in the world? Ancient Indians were seeking answers. They wanted to know why the world is the way it is. They were studying the stars, the Earth and human nature. During class you should be learning about the philosophies and history of Yoga as well as how to integrate the practices into your life. Learning about the history of Yoga and the various practices that stemmed from it will help you to develop a deeper understanding and discernment among the various styles that have branched from the roots of the practice.
Yoga is something that we do all of the time. It happens on your mat, in the lobby, in your car and as you travel through the world. Your teacher should be giving you homework. As they teach, they should be offering focus points and concepts to consider. After you complete your mat practice (Asana) you may feel calm, steady and at ease. In your mind, though, there should be something that you carry out with you. Something that you consider beyond the mat. You should feel as though you are ready to make a tiny change or shift in your life that might just make things better. If you leave sweaty, tired and feeling like you got a work out, then you did, but it wasn’t Yoga.