When I tell people that I am a lawyer and also a yoga teacher, they think that this is quite unusual. Typically, lawyers are type A personalities. I certainly am. Yoga teachers are thought to be very calm, steady and grounded – not concerned with the hustle and bustle of the daily rat race. That is precisely why I was attracted to yoga and why I pursued that attraction with a passion for the role of a yoga teacher.
Yoga helps a person turn off the “monkey mind” – the constant churning and ping-ponging of thoughts and ideas. Mental chatter is a very human characteristic, but someone who depends for a living on her thought processes gets a lot of positive validation for the constant mental process. However, for the person, herself, this mental chatter is, at least half the time, an extreme detriment. It causes irritability, insomnia, and exhaustion.
Yoga is, by definition, “the cessation of the fluctuation of the mind.” (Yoga Sutras, Patanjali). We Americans think of yoga in terms of postures, exercise, flexibility and lithe bodies. Actually, asana – postures – is only one limb of eight limbs of Yoga. All limbs lead the inquirer inward toward peace.
I have noticed that the ABA and some state bar associations have paid some tribute to the benefits of yoga for the practicing attorney. I could not agree more. But more than that, I recommend it to everyone. We all need less inner turmoil so that our outer-selves can be more consistent with our inner strivings.
Sit for two minutes a day and watch your breath. “Everyone can breathe, therefore everyone can do Yoga.” TKV Desikachar, Master Yogi.