Yoga is a practice for life.
I believe wholeheartedly in the transformational qualities of this practice, for spiritual, mental, emotional and physical well-being and vibrancy after all, it is an ancient practice that has been practiced and handed down for thousands of years!
BUT there is a crucial thing that is fundamental to remember…
YOUR PRACTICE IS YOUR PRACTICE
You are a unique being in your own right, no body, mind, heart is exactly the same as yours, and with that knowledge it should become clear that our practices will be varied as well. Not just that, from day to day even, our practice will change, or what we utilise from our practice on any given day will change and that is the most beautiful part of yoga.
This means that when you attend public classes, workshops, or even follow a flow online this needs to be remembered.
YOUR MAT IS YOUR SACRED SPACE
Think of your mat as a sacred space, within the corners of your mat you are giving yourself the time and love to move freely, to breath and to feeeeeeel good.
This could mean taking a rest in childs pose, it could mean keeping your knees bent throughout the entire practice in downward dog, it could be choosing to practice the modification given, even when you really want to practice the ‘advanced’ variation because the two yogis next to you are.
An example for me? If my shoulders are feeling a little worn out, I’ll modify the chaturanga, too many forward folds don’t suit my back, so I limit the amount and go with how I’m feeling.
Your practice is just about the mind, as it is the breath and the physical movement. Treat your entire time on the mat as your practice. That includes every decision to take rest or to take that modification - resisting the ego and moving towards self-love, that means keeping injuries or conditions in mind and taking movements advised for you, it means remembering that this is your sacred space, and your sacred self-care time.
Yoga is strengthening, lengthening, and can be challenging to the mind at times, it can cause some discomfort in areas of tightness, but it should never be causing actual pain. Perhaps slight discomfort but never pain, and this is something to be aware of, and to become in tune with, in order to enjoy this practice.
January is a beautiful time as it encourages us to try new things, and to seek out new hobbies and yoga is one new habit guaranteed to bring abundance to your life, but remembering these two key things -
- Your practice is about YOUR PRACTICE
- Your entire time on your mat is YOUR PRACTICE
Will help you to truly experience all that yoga has to offer.