My Yoga practice sheds light on so many different areas, like a sunbeam….
Since it is autumn, so many of us are contemplating more than our navels. We want to see what we will wear and how we will wear it. Shop until we drop, in other words. So how do we modern yogi(ni)s who are steeped in spirituality pack up our purses and head out into the material jungle?
Mindfully, of course!
It seems like no matter what we are ‘shopping for’ we come face to face with our habits. I am reminded of a quote by Gary Kraftsow, well-known Yoga Teacher; “In order to rise above our conditioning, free ourselves from suffering, improve our relationships, or find a deeper meaning and purpose in life, we must ‘go within ourselves’.” It helps to know what your tendencies are. Is your self talk critical, judgmental or affirmative? Do you listen to your instincts or do you let the voice of another over-ride them?
To be able to listen inwardly comes from setting aside time for silence. Cultivating what I like to refer to as ‘Yoga Mind’ gives you a better chance to experience a truer sense of who you are in the present moment. If a store is noisy and the staff is pressuring you, you will need to access this calm in order to make the best choices. At the same time, your own calm may lead you to shop in more pleasant stores ! Training your personality has deeper ramifications, as you shed the layers, coming into more direct contact with Being and Contentment, versus needing, wanting, trying, and all the other ‘ings’ you were shopping for.
I think the times I can look back on purchases that I did not need, and may have a tinge of regret for, are times when I was not ‘in-yoga’. They were moments when I heard but did not listen to myself or I caved into desires that had nothing to do with what I truly needed at that moment.
Truth be told, there are wonderful mindfulness messages in retail shopping. Here are a few tips on how you can bring the ancient practice of yogic mindfulness into the marketplace with you.
*Start with calm. Meditate for a few minutes before heading out. Inward listening under pressure! AUMMMM.
*Set an intention or goal for your trip and check in with it; did you really need a blouse but you are buying pants instead?
*Set a budget if applicable.
The Art of Mindful Shopping
*Ask yourself honestly in the present moment; is this a buy now/regret later?
*Is the purchase a want or a need? If you were focusing on the needs, re-focus.
*Is it a JUST GO FOR IT day? Can you treat yourself?
*Are you able to look in the mirror and love what you see, or is it all negative self- talk?
*Is the sales staff pleasant and helpful or pushy?
*Are you comfortable with how you feel, from the inside to the decision you are making ?
*Remember that at any moment, you can breathe in and out, take a walk, take your time, and circle back.
The beauty of the Yoga approach to shopping is that it turns us into confident, strong people who make nourishing and positive choices. Life, in this way, whatever you are doing, becomes an art form.