One of the best things about yoga (if not THE best), is that after each practice, you really do grow and you really do transcend into a higher self. You become enlightened by your own abilities and the miracles of your amazing body. You learn, you discover a lot about yourself, and you gain a great deal of humility. When all of this radiates from ourselves, we put peace into our lives and into the lives of those around us.
It is in our nature to love.
CULTIVATING YOUR STRENGTH
Sometimes…often…most of the time…the hardest part is always getting on the mat, maybe even a drag. As much as we don’t like it, there are and will be times when meeting our practice will be a challenge. Even DURING our practice, those feelings come up.
“OMgah…I’m too fucking tired for this.”
“What did I get myself into? This is starting off to be a hard class already.”
“I have so much to do, so many things to be completed…why am I here?”
“Well, look at this fucking girl with the perfect body in those lulu’s.”
“This pose makes me have rolls…”
“My quads are burning. Give me a break. I’m going to die.”
“My arms…my arms, damn it! My armsssss! Free me!”
It’s when we have thoughts like these, we practice the silencing of the mind. It’s okay to have these thoughts, but then detach from them. It’s like coming into a posture- fidgeting, adjusting, finding your edge in an asana, and then eventually finding stillness and contentment in it. When we have that, we can connect with the breath again. When we become intimate with the breath, then peace in posture follows; maybe the struggle, the sensation of burning muscles subside, and we welcome growth.
Stick with it. Surrender to the practice. Trust your body. Cultivate your strength! Listen to your body- be okay with having to modify if needed! Don’t push yourself through fatigue because please practice each posture with integrity, never sacrificing safety to satisfy the ego. At the same time, be okay with listening to that inner voice telling you that you can get a little deeper into the pose because YOU CAN! Deepening of the posture doesn’t have to mean going into a more advanced variation; maybe deepening the posture means staying in it for five or ten more seconds. You can. You always can.
There’s a reason we always come back to the mat, so remember that. You are stronger than you tell yourself. Really :)
Found this on Facebook! I guess somebody loved my quote so much, that they took a picture of it :) I wrote this on our studio wall before the expansion.
Om hari om!
“Your mind is steeped in the habits of evaluation and acquisition, and will not admit that the incomparable and unobtainable are waiting timelessly within your own heart for recognition. All you have to do is to abandon all memories and expectations. Just keep yourself ready in utter nakedness and nothingness.”
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
I am always home when I am on my mat.
My first piece of advice is to be open, to be vulnerable. Yoga can be completely foreign to people and that’s absolutely okay! There is always a starting point, yeah? Try your best not to be discouraged and just open yourself to the journey and to the yoga. If we keep ourselves closed off, if we don’t let light in, how do we become nourished and how do we grow? Open your heart and open your mind, open yourself to vulnerability. I don’t mean, to be weak or to be fragile; but rather, realizing and accepting that things may not be so easy and things may take a little longer to get where you want them to be, and allowing yourself the opportunity for growth.
Have openness and meet yourself where you are. Before we can grow in our practice, we have to start with where we are and be okay with it. For you, be okay with not being able to touch your toes. There are a lot of people who can’t and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! I know teachers who weren’t able to touch their toes in the beginning. You don’t have to be able to do anything when starting a yoga practice, and you definitely don’t have to have a certain body type.
You’re not awful at yoga, nobody is. Our goal in yoga is never to be “good” at it. Practice makes practice.
Be open and be okay with where you are- those are my pieces of advice. Even if right now, you can’t be open and you can’t be okay with where you are, that’s fine, too…but we eventually need to be in order to grow, yeah? :) It can be a challenge even throughout our yoga practice, not just the beginning. Each day, each moment, each practice will always be different; but wherever you are in your practice, is exactly where you should be.
Keep at it! I’m always here for advice. As your yoga practice continues and grows, you’ll find it easier to welcome your true self. I promise. Let go of self-perceived faults because you have enough, you are enough, it is enough.
Wishing you so much light in your journey, namaste.