Grihasta - the householder phase is one of the 4 Ashramas (stages of life):
Bhramchari /Studentship - The phase of spiritual development and study
Grihastha / Householder - Family, business, growth phase and ethical accumulation of material pleasures.
Vaniprastha / Retired life - Retreating, slowing down, resuming study
Sanyaas /renunciate phase - Sadhu who has separated from worldy desires and has renounced their previous life for a spiritual one.
Many practitioners undergo a period of intensity with yoga study and practice. Or, a light but meaningful exposure to these practices. This would be the Bhramachaya phase.
Then, they enter the Grihastha phase of life and they have families, or start businesses, or immerse themselves in another aspect of their lives and suddenly yoga practice has become a thing of the past.
Many of these folks express sadness over the loss of their practice during these times of business-creating, family-nurturing, and home-building.
Indeed, practice shifts during this time. In this phase, practice is meant to support your duties. It’s not a loss, but an application of your time in Brahmacharya. Even if you have time for just 5 minutes of yoga or a quick mindfulness break, that is ok! Soften your expectations that yoga has to look the way it used to.
In this phase, yoga nurtures us so that we can execute our duties. Whatever you can do - do it and let it nourish you and let it be enough.
Embracing options, compromise and softness. Not needing things to look exactly as they used to.
Remembering that your sacred work whether it be career, relationships or something else, it deserves your attention and commitment during this phase.
Also noticing any internal calling we have to continue our practice, even if it looks different, so that we can have the energy to execute our duties in an ethical, grounded, and connected way.
We can live an embodied life where we apply the skills we learned as students of yoga (Brahmacharya/ student phase) to our daily life as parents, in our relationships and in our careers. These teachings include: ethics, restraint, moderation, simplicity, gratitude, truthfulness, non-harming, peace, harmony, connection, acceptance, courage, humility and so much more....
If we release the resistance, we can embrace Grihastha as a sacred time of practical and embodied application of yoga.
OM OM xoxo Aarti