Have you ever been in a space with your practice where it’s hard to get to the mat, but you finally do. Then, you hop on the mat, and it’s still a struggle to get through your practice.
It never used to be like that.
Then, you take practice, but you don’t get through the whole thing. You try your hardest, but it was just time to skip forward to backbends.
You feel great and amazing that you practiced, but somewhat guilty or lazy that you didn’t get through your whole practice.
Even when it’s a struggle to get on the mat, you still struggle with your practice off the mat.
Have you experienced that?
This morning I took practice a little later than I wanted to, but I still made it to the mat. I never set an expectation for myself when I practice. I just continue to tell myself to breathe. A few times, I tried to talk myself into finishing up and moving to backbends, but I just continued to observe my mind. I made it through the standing postures, and a few primary, but then I found myself taking backbends without even thinking about it. I was just ready.
I have enough experience to know that even after years of practice, some days, the concentration just won’t be there.
The majority of my students are busy professionals or overwhelmed individuals with scattered schedules. They come to me because it can be difficult to hop on the mat daily and keep up a yoga practice when you have so much going on. I encourage my students to schedule in their practice even if it’s just 10 minutes in the morning.
I realized this morning after my practice that just hopping on the mat when you’re struggling, and just doing a little is actually deep practice. What matters is the intention, which is there.
If you can get on the mat when it’s so extremely difficult, then that is deeper practice than ever sticking your leg behind your head or balancing on one leg!
David Robson says, “We need the ideal, the strong rules of the practice to direct and focus our energy. And we also need to accept the results of our efforts, whatever they are, with equanimity.”
Remember that next time you are struggling to get on the mat. The real practice is our awareness and how we react to the struggle.
When both sincere effort and non-attachment are present in our practice, what we feel to be unattainable might just happen.
In the comments below:
How do YOU react when you have one of those days where you struggle to STAY on the mat? Do you push yourself through, or do you take things slow and forgive yourself?
Got an inspiring quote about acceptance or compassion to add to the comments? Let’s hear it!