The thing that was most difficult about living in an intentional community practising yoga, was the part about it being so "alternative." But really, things were so easy in comparison to "normal" life. Sometimes I wonder how people do it, really.
We're supposed to work 40 or so hours a week for someone else (usually) taking at least an hour or so a day just to get back and forth to work. Then we're also supposed to have time to eat well and exercise now, what are the numbers? like minimum a half hour a day. We've got to get enough sleep and keep our homes clean and have hobbies to keep ourselves stimulated. If you've got kids, well, I honestly don't know how you're supposed to do it all.
I figured out a long time ago that I didn't like to go for a bike ride. I liked to ride my bike to someplace I was going. So I made sure the things that I considered really important to do were just built in to my life. I teach yoga for a living, so I have to maintain my practice and my job supports me in that. If I had to work all day and then come home and in my free time go to a yoga class, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't make it regularly to class!
And spending time with/raising my daughter - I purposely chose to work from home and to teach yoga so I can be home with her and go to her school functions and volunteer in the classroom and really be there with her as she grows up. I became a La Leche League Leader and supported other moms in attachment parenting, which is sometimes considered to be alternative although it seems like common sense to me.
I see people who work too much and don't take time for themselves and end up feeling used and tired and not sure of what they're doing anymore. I feel that way too sometimes - I work 6 days a week and fill my life with learning and volunteering and I'm busy too - so I built it into my life to reflect and take time for myself.
I'm still scratching my head and wondering how we function as a group. As our family members age and move in with us or as the facilities for our brothers and sisters are reduced people will take on even more responsibilities and have less time to cook properly and exercise and sleep, while working for wages that may seem grand in other places but don't go far in our expensive society (yesterday I paid the Sears guy $80 to tell me my $1000 washing machine was going to cost more to repair than to replace).
So I do my own practice and I offer back what I've learned and keep myself inspired, hoping that I inspire others as I do my job, and I hope that we're taking time to ask ourselves what really matters to us and are we attending to those things in the midst of all of our busy-ness and task completing.
There is always going to be more to do than we can get done, there are always going to be more people to be helped, more tidying to do, more projects to finish, so what we can do is practise being satisfied right where we are. We run around solving problems as if they're going to go away. We're always going to have problems! If we practise being right where we are with what we have and what we've created around us, we can practise being present and in that, be satisfied. Be content right where we are. From there things will fall away that don't matter and what does matter will be highlighted and appreciated.
Need help getting present? Listen to 3 minutes of a guided relaxation and get yourself into your body! (It's on the right hand side of the page.) You can take it from there :)