Namaste at the Café

Going to a café is one of my favorite simple pleasures, as it’s the one time during my day when I feel like I don’t need to work through my to-do list, and can allow myself to just be present in the moment. It’s not a traditional comparison, but I’ve started to relate my café outings to yoga, as it gives me the chance to pause for a moment, decompress and reflect – with the minor difference that in lieu of achieving this during downward dog (or "chien tête baissé" as I’ve learned here in practice), it’s while sipping un café au lait. Although I’m not focusing on deep, five-count breathing in and out through my nose, while engaging my uddiyana bandha, it’s a form of mediation nonetheless, because I learn to let go. This state of mindfulness allows me to “clear the clutter” and be fully drawn into my current environment; an intricate blend of other lives, cultures, languages and habits. It’s refreshing and feels self-indulgent, yet also very humbling and natural all at the same time. One of my favorite yoga instructors frequently reminds us that our time at the studio is about taking care of ourselves and that we don’t have anything, nor anyone to worry about during the next 75 minutes of practice. I’m not sure why it can be so difficult at times to do something for ourselves that is in fact so very much needed, but I am often guilty of needing to be told that it is OK. Similar to how those 75 minutes of sweat (did I mention that it’s hot yoga?) and mediation are solely meant for me, going to the café is too, but with a whole lot less sweat. Namaste.