Whenever I’m hanging out with my fellow Yogi’s and we’re talking about practice, the same controversial practice topics come up.
Yoga is not black and white. There’s not just one way, but that’s such a hard concept for westerners to understand. We’re always trying to find the “right” way, or some sign which tells us what move to make next.
I always get asked by students , “What do I have to do to get into this posture? What’s the trick?”
It’s not about doing all of these extra stretches to open up and get into a posture. You can’t compare it to going to a gym where you would increase your weight lifting to build muscle and become stronger.
Advancement in yoga is about if you are more at peace, or if you are happier, or if you’re more compassionate. Progression in yoga is NOT about getting into advanced postures.
Your body is different every day.
Here is my answer to that question:
Wake up tomorrow and roll out your mat and take practice (and the next day, and the next day, etc…). Be aware of what is going on in your mind. What kind of internal dialogue do you have going on? How are you treating yourself? When you can’t do a posture to your satisfaction, are you content or have you become frustrated? What are you feeling physically? How do you deal with discomfort? Do you self-inflict pain, or do you work with it slowly and compassionately? How is your breathing? Do you need to slow it down? Perhaps you’re too loose in practice? Do you need to challenge yourself a little more? What could you be avoiding? Are you comparing yourself to others around you? Are you judging others around you?
Becoming aware of all of these aspects and letting go, this is what we need to be working on. What’s happening on the mat is a direct reflection on how we treat ourselves and others off the mat. Being “good” at yoga postures is just a side effect, or bonus, of a consistent practice of asana. It’s not the goal of yoga.
To Open Hearts & Happy Thoughts,