A teacher asked a group of us this question during a workshop a while ago and I’ve thought about it ever since. Physically I feel much better than I did before I started to practise. But there is definitely something more to it because I’ve never stuck at anything else before now. The initial interest would wane and I’d be thinking....what next?
Not with Yoga. I have a deep knowing that Yoga will be a part of my life forever and I’m certain of that. I’ve never been so sure of anything before. This is weird in itself, where does that surety come from?
So I thought about it some more.
It’s the things I learn about myself. How I approach my yoga reflects how I’m approaching everything in my life at that moment in time. It’s like a mirror, reflecting what’s going on when I’m too distracted to notice in my everyday life. Am I pushing myself too hard? Am I not listening to my body? Why can’t I sit still? Am I making things hard for myself? Is there an easier way of doing things?
The practise adapts to my energy levels, my mood, my location (you don’t need much, just yourself and a bit of floor space). It is constantly changing, just as I am.
It’s the Connection. It let’s me connect to myself. It helps me connect with others. The community I have met through Yoga fills me with Joy. There is common ground, this shared love of the practise, that makes connections with anyone so much easier. I have crossed paths with amazing people that I don’t think I would have met if it weren’t for Yoga.
There comes a feeling of contentment with all of this. That we are all a part of something bigger.
I have been practising for 7 years and on reflection, things have changed massively in that time. How I view things, my mindset, the clarity of what drives me in life. It has cut through the layers of crap, the conditioned stuff, and the stuff I thought I ‘should‘ have achieved by now.
I learned on the mat there’s no point avoiding the difficult postures. You’ll keep coming up against them, avoidance is futile. It’s the same in life off the mat. I saw where I buried my head in the sand, ran away and reached for constant distractions. Anything rather than face myself. I would think, how did I get here again!? Different people, different place, same situation💡
The penny dropped! It didn’t matter how much I ran away, I would have to face it eventually. So I realised, there’s no time like the present. Honestly, it wasn’t easy, still isn’t. When there’s another layer that uncovers itself I know it’s bringing me even closer to my true self so I don’t run. What this process has done is transform my existing relationships and attract new ones into my life. It has introduced me to a network of amazing people who encourage and support me, it has lessened self- destructive patterns, and started the process toward self-love. It had to start small at ‘self-like’.
So when I think about the original question
‘why do you practise yoga?’
Where do I start! X